OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
In what is a defeat for pro-life supporters, after getting some major victories, the Supreme Court has denied hearing a case on personhood. The Court said on Tuesday that it would not hear a case that could give Constitutional rights to unborn babies, The Daily Wire reported.
In 2019, the Catholics for Life group and two pregnant women challenged a newly enacted Rhode Island law that codified abortion rights. However, according to Reuters, the Rhode Island Supreme court ruled the plaintiffs lacked proper legal standing for the case. But after justices overturned the Roe decision in June, the plaintiffs asked the Supreme Court to consider the case.
“This Court should grant the writ to finally determine whether prenatal life, at any gestational age, enjoys constitutional protection – considering the full and comprehensive history and tradition of our Constitution and law supporting personhood for unborn human beings,” the group that brought the case said.
“We’re satisfied that the Supreme Court declined to hear this frivolous appeal. Governor McKee believes that we should be expanding access to reproductive healthcare for women,” Matt Sheaff, a spokesperson for Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee said. He said that the governor “is committed to using his veto pen to block any legislation that would take our state backwards.”
In September, Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch has given a potential timeline for when the identity of the person or persons who leaked the ‘Roe’ preliminary draft opinion in May could be revealed.
In his first remarks since the leak of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Gorsuch said he hopes the investigation into the leak will soon be completed.
Gorsuch gave his views during a discussion with lawyers and judges in Colorado Springs Thursday at the 10th Circuit Judicial Conference. In June, the Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion in all states.
“The chief justice appointed an internal committee to oversee the investigation,” Gorsuch said. “That committee has been busy, and we’re looking forward to their report, I hope, soon.”
The Wall Street Journal first reported the comments, and Fox News added that the outlet confirmed they were accurate.
Fox News added:
Chief Justice John Roberts ordered the Court’s marshal to conduct an internal investigation, but there have been few updates, and it is not clear whether the court’s leak report will be made public.
Multiple sources previously told Fox News that the investigation into the approximately 70 individuals in the court who may have had access to the draft opinion has been narrowed. Sources say much of the initial focus was on the three dozen or so law clerks, who work directly with the justices on their caseload.
At the time, the nation’s highest court admitted that a “copy of a draft opinion in a pending case” was made public, but added that it did “not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.”
Nearly four months after the leak, the identity of the leaker is still unknown, however.
“Former law clerks at the high court from both sides of the aisle were uniformly stunned when Justice Samuel L. Alito Jr.’s draft dropped online, but they differ broadly on whether the court should identify the culprit and if the leaker needs to be punished to counter future disclosures of controversial cases,” The Washington Times reported.
“And despite the magnitude of the breach of high court etiquette and procedure, some think the mystery may never be cracked — or at least revealed to outsiders,” the report added.
“If they haven’t identified the person by now, they aren’t going to make it public. I don’t think the public will find out,” said Carolyn Shapiro, a former clerk for retired Justice Stephen G. Breyer.
One Republican lawmaker recently speculated that the Supreme Court’s liberal-leaning justices are likely aware of who the leaker is.
Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana said he believed that at least some of the justices know the leaker’s identity.
“We all could probably agree that the justices that were appointed by Democrat presidents know who the leaker was,” he said. “What bothers me, it’s not only the undermining that it did of the institution and the trust factor that these folks have with each other,” it’s that now that the trust is broken, “it’s very difficult to restore it.”