A leaked draft US Supreme Court opinion published Monday by POLITICO shows that the justices have voted to overturn the landmark abortion rights case, Roe v. Wade.
Chief Justice John Roberts issued a statement Tuesday pledging to investigate the leak:
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. 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.
While the court noted in a press release that the leaked document “does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case,” the court appears poised to overturn Roe. The draft opinion was authored by Justice Samuel Alito in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in which Mississippi is pressing the justices to declare that there is no constitutional right to abortion. The court typically circulates draft opinions among justices, and wording, or even votes of the justices, can change. A final decision is expected in this case by the end of June.