On the eve of the 2022 mid-term election primary deluge in May, while President Biden tanks in the polls, inflation is off the rails, medical freedom over medical covid mandates looms, and an increase in government mistrust escalates, Politico published an alleged 98-page first draft Supreme Court majority opinion sharply rebuking Roe and Casey v. Planned Parenthood.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Justice Alito allegedly wrote in an initial majority draft circulated inside the court.
“Never has there been a leak in the Supreme Court,” said Alan Dershowitz on FOX.
Although the opinion is not a final decision outlawing abortion, the coverage following its release was filled with a cacophony of political commentary.
“This leak is an insurrection,” said Ari Fleisher on FOX.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee concurred.
This leak “undermines the integrity of the court,” said former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
This opinion is sickening,” said Cecile Richard, former President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund on MSNBC.
The leaked document lit up the political stakes from democratic cries to turn out the languishing support for democrats with serious whispers of “stacking” the Supreme Court.
It almost looked too planned to unleash an explosion of political energy with demonstrators on the Supreme Court late into the evening.
Yet, it could re-ignite a ruthless investigation falling on the shoulders of Chief Justice John Roberts.
FOX Anchor Laura Ingraham, who served as a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, reminded her audience how the late Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist was well-known for telling U.S. Supreme Court clerks, “You leak, you are finished” as a lawyer.
The alleged draft of the leaked first majority opinion from Justice Samuel Alito suggests, if true, the Supreme Court voted to strike down Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion rights decision, in February.
Oral arguments were held in December. Republican-appointed Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett voted with Alito after those hearings. That line-up remains unchanged, a source told Politico. Chief Justice Roberts position remains unknown.
“The constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely – the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,” the justices reportedly wrote in the opinion for the Mississippi abortion case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health.
Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan are writing the dissents.
“Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each state from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey regulated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives,” the opinion concludes.
“It’s impossible to overstate the earthquake this will cause inside the Court, in terms of the destruction of trust among the Justices and staff. This leak is the gravest, most unforgivable sin,” noted the SCOTUSblog.
If this first draft is the final majority opinion, it could trigger nearly half of U.S. state laws immediately prohibiting abortion.
Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley speculated on Fox News that the draft was leaked in an attempt to “sway” the final court opinion. Harvard Professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz agreed.
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But, no one mentioned the journalistic ethics now in question of how the leak is now rocking the integrity of the Supreme Court.
The timing may be key. The reporter to whom this was leaked is pertinent – Josh Gerstein.
According to the Clinton Presidential Library, Gerstein met his wife while at Harvard. June Shih worked for both Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. Shih and Gerstein were married in 2003.
“June Shih was Special Assistant to President Clinton and a Presidential Speechwriter from 1998-2000. She wrote speeches for President Clinton which included topics on race relations, education, health care, child care, and the economy. Ms. Shih also participated in drafting two of the State of the Union Addresses and she was also a member of the President’s delegation to China in 1998,” according to the Clinton Presidential records. “Before working as a speechwriter for the President June was a speechwriter for First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton from 1995 to 1997. She assisted the First Lady with weekly columns, wrote speeches, talking points, and handled video scripts.In 2000 Shih became the chief speechwriter for Hillary Clinton’s senatorial campaign.”
Justice Elena Kagen also served in the Clinton White House. She was later appointed to the Supreme Court by President Obama.
The leaked story will continue to rock the Supreme Court historically if this breach is real.
Nevertheless, this story is far from over.
The Supreme Court press office has not made any comment yet.