Last night, Politico published a story regarding a leaked draft of an opinion by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a legal challenge to Mississippi’s 15-week ban on abortion. The Politico article indicates that Justice Samuel Alito has authored a draft of the Court’s majority opinion, which would strike down the nearly 50-year-old Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion on demand across the U.S. in 1973.
A Press Release from the Supreme Court issued late this morning confirmed the report. “Yesterday, a news organization published a copy of a draft opinion in a pending case,” the release said. “Justices circulate draft opinions internally as a routine and essential part of the Court’s confidential deliberative work. Although the document described in yesterday’s reports is authentic, it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case. (emphasis added).”
Chief Justice John Roberts also provided the following statement: “To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed. The work of the Court will not be affected in any way. We at the Court are blessed to have a workforce—permanent employees and law clerks alike—intensely loyal to the institution and dedicated to the rule of law. Court employees have an exemplary and important tradition of respecting the confidentiality of the judicial process and upholding the trust of the Court. This was a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here.
I have directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak.”
The Supreme Court is expected to issue its final opinion in the Dobbs case in June or July.