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Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the authenticity of a draft opinion obtained by Politico indicating the court will restrict abortion rights by overturning Roe v. Wade, calling the leaking of the document a “singular and egregious” breach of trust Tuesday that the court will investigate.
Roberts said in a statement the draft opinion is “authentic,” but noted it “does not represent” the court’s final decision or the “final position” of any justice.
The chief justice slammed the leak as an “affront” to the court and the public servants who work there.
Roberts has directed the marshal of the court to investigate who leaked the opinion to the press, he 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,” Roberts said. “The work of the court will not be affected in any way.”
What To Watch For
The court’s final opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health will be released by the time its term ends this summer, likely in June.
The Supreme Court is now weighing a case on Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban and whether states can restrict abortion even before a fetus is viable. While it had been unclear whether the 6-3 conservative court would merely uphold the Mississippi law or go further, Politico reported Monday night that a draft opinion from February suggests the court will entirely overturn Roe v. Wade, which granted the federal right to an abortion. “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote. The leaking of the opinion is extremely rare for the court, which keeps its opinions close to its chest until they’re formally released, though a few other opinions have leaked—including the original Roe decision in 1973.