The Supreme Court issued a response to the report of a draft opinion that, if published, would overturn Roe v. Wade, with Chief Justice John Roberts strongly condemning the leak to the press.
In a brief message, the court acknowledged that the leaked document is indeed real, while noting that it is just a draft and that the court has not issued a final decision on the matter.
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“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,” the court said.
Roberts, in his own statement accompanying the court’s press release, announced that he has called upon the Marshal of the Court to investigate the situation and find the source who leaked the document to Politico. Roberts also spoke out against the notion that the leak could succeed as a political maneuver to influence the outcome of the case.
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“To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine theintegrity of our operations, it will not succeed. The work of the Court will not be affectedin any way,” Roberts said.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is seen prior to President Biden giving his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol on March 1, 2022 in Washington. (Photo by Julia Nikhinson-Pool/Getty Images)
(Julia Nikhinson-Pool/Getty Images)
The chief justice also emphasized how rare such a leak is, due to the loyalty and professionalism of the court’s staff.
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“We at the Court are blessed to have a workforce – permanent employees and law clerksalike – intensely loyal to the institution and dedicated to the rule of law,” he said. “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 workhere.”