Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts slammed the Roe v Wade draft opinion leak as ‘absolutely appalling’ (Picture: AP)
Chief Justice Joe Roberts said ‘the person’ or ‘people’ who leaked the draft opinion that would overturn Roe v Wade are ‘foolish’ if they think it will affect the Supreme Court’s final decision.
Appearing publicly for the first time since the news broke on Monday, Roberts slammed the leak as ‘absolutely appalling’.
Roberts said he hopes ‘one bad apple’ will not change the ‘people’s perception’ of the highest court in the US, CNN reported on Thursday.
The chief justice spoke during a recess of the 11th Circuit Judicial Conference with lawyers and judges.
Roberts on Tuesday directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak. He called it an ‘egregious breach’ as well as an ‘affront to the court’.
‘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 at the time. ‘The work of the Court will not be affected in any way.’
The draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito and published by Politico called on the high court to strike down Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
Alito wrote that Roe was ‘egregiously wrong from the start’ with ‘exceptionally weak’ reasoning and that ‘the decision has had damaging consequences’.
‘The Constitution makes no reference to abortion and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision,’ Alito wrote.
Roberts, who did not want to overturn Roe entirely, confirmed the authenticity of the draft opinion.
The chief justice appeared upbeat on Thursday in the room with judges and lawyers, according to CNN, despite the unprecedented leak.
Outside, however, workers on Wednesday evening began erecting fencing around the marble building as protests intensified. Justices have canceled public appearances amid the threat of demonstrations becoming more violent.
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