Jonathan Turley: Supreme Court Abortion Decision Leak ‘Original Sin for Judicial Ethics’

Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, DC - stock photo
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Whoever leaked the alleged draft of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has committed the “original sin for judicial ethics,” said Jonathan Turley, criminal defense attorney and Shapiro professor of public interest law at George Washington University.

Politico published an alleged draft on Monday of the Court’s decision to overrule Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. The case revolves around Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban and is the most significant challenge in decades to the Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which declared abortion to be protected by the U.S. Constitution. The draft was seemingly written by Justice Samuel Alito and has circulated inside the Court, the news outlet reported.

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Alito allegedly wrote in the document, which is labeled as the “Opinion of the Court.” “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

Turley said the leak represents “one of the greatest breaches of security in the history of the Court.”

“The alleged leak of the opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is nothing short of breathtaking. It would constitute one of the greatest breaches of security in the history of the Court,” Turley tweeted. “…The article represents the greatest crisis that Chief Justice John Roberts has faced in his tenure on the Court. It is a breach of the most fundamental obligations and traditions of the Court.”

Turley noted that if Politico indeed obtained a true copy of the drafted opinion, “it is hard not to view this as a malicious act.”

“What is the motivation of releasing such a decision? The only intent of such a leak is to trigger a response from outside of the Court,” he continued. “…This draft is from February and the majority can shift on such opinions. However, the act of leaking such a draft opinion ranks as an original sin for judicial ethics.”

He surmised the leak could be an effort to “pressure the Court and push the legislation in Congress on a federal abortion law before the midterm elections. It will also likely renew the call for court packing.”

“The fact that some are praising this leak shows how utterly craven we have become in our politics,” he concluded. “There appears no ethical rule or institutional interest that can withstand this age of rage.”

Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her on Twitter.


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