OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
In May 2021, someone leaked a preliminary draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide, an incident that led Chief Justice John Roberts to issue a public rebuke of the leaker as well as a pledge to find out who did it.
But eight months later, the country still doesn’t know the identity of the person or persons responsible, which is leading to further erosion of trust in yet another founding governmental institution. More than anything else, however, the leak also endangered conservative members of the court in ways rarely, if ever, seen in the past — which led some observers to assume that would have been enough to spur Roberts to redouble efforts to find the leaker.
But apparently, that’s not been the case.
The Daily Caller explained:
The May 2 leak triggered a wave of protests, many of which occurred in front of the private homes of Supreme Court justices, and one man was charged for the attempted murder of Justice Brett Kavanaugh between the leak and the final decision, according to The Washington Post. … Roberts ordered the Supreme Court marshal, who is the head security officer for the court, to open an investigation the day after the leak, but there have been no updates on the investigation since then.
“Federal judges’ safety is a particularly important concern given our polarized political environment. One of the biggest drivers of threats against Supreme Court justices is the leak of the Dobbs draft,” Ilya Shapiro, director of Constitutional Studies at the Manhattan Institute, told the Daily Caller.
“It’s long past time for Chief Justice Roberts to reveal the results of the Marshall’s investigation into the leak — and for the legal community to punish the leaker whatever his/her ideological motivation,” Shapiro added.
The Biden Justice Department could have taken action against protesters who descended on the homes of Justices Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, and Samuel Alito, the author of the Roe reversal — but Attorney General Merrick Garland chose not to, despite such protests outside federal judges’ homes being against the law.
Alito’s original draft was leaked to Politico at the time, which published it entirely. As it turned out, the final opinion was very similar to the leaked draft.
“The draft opinion is a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and a subsequent 1992 decision – Planned Parenthood v. Casey – that largely maintained the right,” the outlet reported.
In the “Opinion of the Court,” Alito wrote: “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.”
“We, therefore, hold the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. Roe and Casey must be overruled, and the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives,” he added.
Since the leak, there has been much speculation about who did it and why, as well as when the identity of the leaker or leakers would be revealed.
“There’s been a lot of speculation about whether this was a liberal clerk, who was clerking for a more left-leaning justice. There have also been some accusations from Democrats that this was a conservative on the court leaking this because they want Roe versus Wade overturned,” Townhall.com editor and Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich said a few weeks after the leak.
“We don’t know who it is. We have heard calls from the likes of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell saying that the leaker should be prosecuted if they have broken any laws. The Department of Justice has not expressed much interest in looking at who the leaker is, and certainly, they haven’t expressed much interest in going after people descending on the homes of conservative justices,” she added.
Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo said at the time that she believed the identity of the Supreme Court leaker will be revealed in “short order.”
“We are going to know who leaked that draft opinion in short order,” she declared.