Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts announced an investigation into the leaking of a ruling that would overturn Roe v. Wade, calling the leak a “betrayal” meant to “undermine the integrity” of the court.
The court issued the statement Tuesday morning just hours after Politico reported the court drafted an opinion in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case that would overturn Roe v. Wade.
The court noted Tuesday that “Justices circulate draft opinions internally as a routine and essential part of the Court’s confidential deliberative work.” The court confirmed the authenticity of the document but noted it “does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues of the case.”
Roberts also issued a statement lambasting the leak.
“To the extent this betrayal of the confidence of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed,” Roberts wrote. “The work of the Court will not be affected in any way.”
JUST IN: The Supreme Court confirms the authenticity of the draft opinion revealed last night by Politico. The chief justice has ordered an investigation into the leak. pic.twitter.com/XZweHdyhCG
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) May 3, 2022
“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.” (RELATED: ‘Gravest, Most Unforgivable Sin’: SCOTUS Leak Decried By Court Watchers)
“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,” Roberts continued. “I have directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak.”
The opinion, drafted by Associate Justice Samuel Alito, says “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Politico reported.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” the opinion continued. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
Roberts has yet to cast his vote, but conservative justices Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett signed onto Alito’s opinion. Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor dissented, according to Politico.
The case in question dates back to 2018. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only licensed abortion clinic in Mississippi, filed a suit challenging the Gestational Age Act, which is a state law banning a majority of abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.