On Tuesday, Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis compared the leak of the Supreme Court’s draft of the majority opinion overturning Roe v. Wade to a “judicial insurrection.” DeSantis’ comments echo numerous other legal experts who warn that the leak undermines the trust within the Court.
“I think it was really an attack on a lot of the justices,” DeSantis said. “I think it was an intentional thing to try to whip up a lot of the public, try to make it very political, potentially try to bullying them into changing one of their positions.”
“That is not something that is appropriate for the judicial branch,” he added. “I know they launched an investigation, they need to figure out who did that, and they need to hold them accountable, because that is a real significant breach of trust.”
DeSantis said that the leak “really surprised” him, adding, “You wanna talk about an insurrection, that’s a judicial insurrection, to be taking that out and trying to kneecap a potential majority through kind of extra constitutional means.”
“You wanna talk about an insurrection, that’s a judicial insurrection.”
— Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) on the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade pic.twitter.com/LhU69qLFg7
— The Recount (@therecount) May 3, 2022
The draft of the majority opinion was leaked to Politico on Monday night. In the ruling, Justice Samuel Alito writes that “Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely—the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito wrote. “Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”
In response to the leak, Chief Justice John Roberts launched an investigation to find out who was behind the “egregious breach” of the trust within the Court.
“Yesterday, a news organization published a copy of a draft opinion in a pending case. Justices circulate draft opinions internally as a routine and essential part of the Court’s confidential deliberative work,” a press release from the Supreme Court said. “Although the document described in yesterday’s reports is authentic, it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final portion of any member on the issue in the case.”
The press release included a statement from Chief Justice John Roberts, who said, “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.”
“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,” Roberts continued. “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 work here.”
“I have directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak,” Roberts announced.
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