Chief Justice John Roberts issued a scathing statement on Tuesday, sharply criticizing the Supreme Court insider responsible for leaking a monumental draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade.
Roberts’ statement confirms the veracity of the document, although confidential deliberations on the ruling aren’t yet law.
“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,” said Roberts in the statement.
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“I have directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak,” said Roberts, inferring the source of the leak could face criminal charges.
“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,” Robert’s statement said.
“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.”
The leak of a draft opinion is nearly unprecedented in the history of the Supreme Court.
An additional statement published by the Supreme Court’s public affairs office stressed that while the document is authentic, it doesn’t represent the final rulings of the court’s nine justices.
If the draft opinion were to become law, states would once again be free to establish their own policies on the legality of abortion.
Roe v. Wade enshrined a federal right to the procedure in 1973, although states can regulate limits on some abortions.
John Roberts himself would dissent from a ruling to fully overturn Roe v. Wade, according to reporting from CNN.
The George W. Bush nominee would side with the Court’s liberal contingent to protect the legal right to abortion.
Democrats are calling for President Joe Biden to pack the Supreme Court with left-wing justices in response to the development, in a partisan political attempt to stave off the court’s potential ruling on Roe v. Wade.
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