John Roberts calls the publication of the nullification draft of Roe v. Wade of “singular and flagrant breach” of trust

“This was a singular and egregious breach of that trust which is an affront to the Court and to the community of officials who work here. I have ordered the Marshal of the Court to initiate an investigation into the source of the leak,” Roberts said. in a statement Tuesday.

“To the extent that this betrayal of court confidences was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed,” Roberts said. “The work of the Court will not be affected in any way. We at the Court are fortunate to have a workforce – permanent employees and paralegals – intensely loyal to the institution and dedicated to the primacy of the Court employees have an exemplary and important tradition of respecting the confidentiality of the judicial process and maintaining the confidence of the Court.”

The court’s public affairs office confirmed that the document published by Politico is “authentic”, but stressed that “it does not represent a decision of the Court or the final position of any member on the issues of the affair”.

According to the draft authored by Judge Samuel Alito, the court would overturn the decision in Roe v. Wade of a federal constitutional right to abortion.

It looks like five judges would vote to overthrow Roe. Roberts didn’t want to completely overturn Roe v. Wade, meaning he would have disagreed with part of Alito’s draft opinion, sources told CNN, likely with the three liberals on the court.
That would mean the five conservative justices who would make up the majority toppling Roe are Alito and Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

The court did not comment on the potential breakdown of how the justices would vote. Roberts did not respond to questions from CNN at his home on Tuesday morning.

Will the Marshal find anything?

It’s unclear how thorough or successful the internal investigation will be or how experienced court employees will be in tracking down the source of a leak.

The Marshal of the Supreme Court oversees approximately 260 staff, including the court’s police department, which has the power to arrest people on court grounds. The current field marshal is Col. Gail A. Curley, who began serving as the 11th court marshal in 2021.

Typically, the people with access to such a document would be the nine judges and the people working in their chambers, including their clerks and staff – almost 50 people in all.

As for not inviting the FBI or an outside agency, Roberts has long guarded the independence of the third branch of government, keeping the legislative and executive branches out of court business.

The reaction is quick

A shocking moment for a Supreme Court already on the brink

The leaked draft notice sent shockwaves through Washington, with news of Roe’s potential overthrow sparking outrage among Democrats that rivaled the anger expressed by Republicans over the violation of Upper House privacy standards. Yard.

President Joe Biden said Tuesday that a woman’s right to an abortion is “fundamental” following the Politico report, and urged Congress to pass legislation codifying Roe, which was decided in 1973 and established a constitutional right to abortion before fetal viability.

“Roe has been the law of the land for nearly fifty years, and the fundamental fairness and stability of our law demands that it not be overturned,” he said in a statement.

Congressional Democrats released similar statements about the draft notice on Tuesday, but their counterparts focused on the alleged leak, calling the move an effort to change the court’s final ruling on the matter.

“Someone, probably someone inside the tribunal itself, leaked a confidential internal plan to the press, almost certainly with the intent of inciting an inappropriate pressure campaign to influence an outcome,” the official said. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in remarks to the Senate. The Kentucky Republican also called for an investigation into the leak.

Following the release of the draft on Monday evening, protesters descended on areas outside the Supreme Court and remained there until Tuesday afternoon. Many held up signs in favor of abortion rights, and the crowd sometimes chanted in opposition to the proposed decision, including saying, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Samuel Alito has to go” and ” Abortion rights are under attack, what do we do, stand up, fight back.”

This story was updated with additional details on Tuesday.

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