Alito: Roe leak made justices ‘targets for assassination’

When the draft opinion of the ruling by the Supreme Court in the Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health case leaked before the Court’s official ruling was handed down, an already volatile political atmosphere grew even more so. Justice Samuel Alito, the author of the leaked draft opinion, said at an event with the Heritage Foundation that the leak endangered conservative justices and made them “targets for assassination.” 

“The leak also made those of us who were thought to be in the majority in support of overruling Roe and Casey targets for assassination because it gave people a rational reason to think they could prevent that from happening by killing one of us. And we know that,” Justice Alito said at an event sponsored by the Heritage Foundation.

We know that what Alito said is true because a man was arrested in June in front of Justice Kavanaugh’s home. The 26-year-old man traveled from California with the alleged intention of killing Justice Kavanaugh. His motivation, allegedly, came from the leaked document. The case is pending so Alito was not at liberty to say anything about it.

When the opinion was leaked in May, it was reported that up to 70 people may have had access to the memo, which was drafted in February. In June, it was reported that Alito’s former home in New Jersey was being bombarded with mail and packages. ShutDownDC, a liberal advocacy group, offered $250 to service workers in D.C. for sightings of the conservative justices on the Court. The conservative justices are acutely aware that they have targets on their backs in today’s hyper-volatile political atmosphere.

During the 70-minute discussion at the Annual Joseph Story Distinguished Lecture, Alito described the Dobbs draft opinion leak as “a grave betrayal.” An investigation into the leak was ordered by Chief Justice Roberts at the time but so far no one has been identified as the leaker.

“It was a grave betrayal of trust by somebody, and it was a shock because nothing like that had happened in the past, so it certainly changed the atmosphere at the court for the remainder of last term,” Justice Alito said.

Alito said that the justices are eager for everything to get back to normal at the Supreme Court. The leak changed the atmosphere and the justices are ready to get past that and back to normal. He said that all along, they all have maintained good personal relationships with each other.

“During my 16 years on the Court, the justices have always gotten along very well,” he added. “On a personal level. I think the public, when they read our opinions, probably misses that.”

“You can see by reading those opinions, we sometimes disagree pretty passionately about the law,” he continued. “And we have not in recent years been all that restrained about the times in which we express our disagreement. I’m as guilty as others probably on this score. But none of that is personal. And that is something that I think I wish the public understood.”

When asked about expanding the Court, a fever dream for disgruntled liberals now that there is a conservative majority, Alito didn’t give his own opinion but did caution against making such a big decision solely for political reasons.

“If Congress were to change the size of the court and the public perceived that the reason for changing the size of the court was to influence decisions in future cases,” Alito asked. “What would that do to the public perception of our independence and our legitimacy?”

The crazies are out there. Members of the Supreme Court have been given additional security to protect them. Assassinating a person in a powerful position over a difference in political opinion is never the way to handle a disagreement. Yet, here we are. Chuck Schumer stood outside the Supreme Court and called the conservative justices by name over a bullhorn, saying they would pay for such a decision. Protesters show up outside of the homes of Supreme Court justices though it is against federal law to do so and they are not arrested by local law enforcement. Many top Democrat politicians have been silent about the threats to conservative justices. Joe Biden has remained silent, while voicing support for packing the Court. It can’t continue for only one side of the aisle to criticize these threats and call for calm. Someone is going to end up getting killed.

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