Republicans Take Aim At Supreme Court Leaker As Democrats Bemoan Potential Abortion Restrictions

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Republicans in Congress called out the leak of a draft opinion showing that the Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade, while Democrats called conservatives on the Court partisans and complained that abortion may not be as readily accessible.

Associate Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization rules Roe “egregiously wrong from the start.” Politico’s publication of the draft marks the first time in modern history that a draft Supreme Court opinion leaked while the justices were still considering their ruling. Republicans cheered the potential ruling, while blasting the leaker for attempting to influence the Court.

Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley described the leak as an “attempt to corrupt the process,” adding that the justices should “stay strong” in their ruling.

“This is nothing more than an attempt to intimidate the justices on this case and sway their opinion. A leak of this magnitude must be condemned and, if warranted, investigated and prosecuted,” Republican Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis said in a statement.

He added that Roe “was wrong from the beginning,” and urged “states to enact pro-Life laws and protect the unborn.”

Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a former Supreme Court clerk for the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist, was “appalled” at the leak, calling it a “shocking breach of trust.”

This is a blatant attempt to intimidate the Court through public pressure rather than reasoned argument. I hope my fellow former clerks and the entire legal community will join me in denouncing this egregious breach of trust,” he added.

I have no doubt that the Chief Justice will work to root out the radical activist that betrayed the sacred tradition of the court. The leaker must be immediately removed from their position and exiled from the legal community,” Republican Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn tweeted.

Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to order an FBI investigation into the leak, according to CBS News. (RELATED: ‘Gravest, Most Unforgivable Sin’: SCOTUS Leak Decried By Court Watchers)

In contrast, Democrats warned of the political consequences of the Court’s ruling, with some describing the 2022 midterms as the most important elections ever.

“We are literally stripping the women of this country of their rights. If that happens, I think you’re going to see repercussions like never before,” Democratic Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar threatened. “They have basically stacked the Court through various procedural games that they played in the Senate, and now is the moment, and now if this opinion gets issued as is, it’s going to be state-by-state fights about this, with the automatic triggers going in place in many. And then it’s going to be a decision for Congress, and it makes the election for the House and the Senate more important than any we’ve seen in our lifetime.”

Abolish the filibuster. Codify Roe. Expand the Supreme Court. Protect abortion rights by any means necessary. We need all of the above. This is an emergency,” Democratic Missouri Rep. Cori Bush tweeted.

Democratic Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse re-upped his frequent criticisms of the Federalist Society, while claiming that Republicans packed the Supreme Court.

This decision would wipe that well-established precedent away, to give right-wing ideologues a political victory. The right-wing goal has been to control the Court, to achieve policy gains against the will of the American public,” he said.

Congressional Democrats have attempted to pass a law that would legalize abortion at the federal level. The Women’s Health Protection Act passed the House of Representatives with all but one Democrat supporting. However, Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin opposes the legislation, and he voted with Republicans in February to prevent the upper chamber from considering it.