A draft opinion suggesting the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide that was published in a Politico report released Monday did indeed come from the court, according to a statement released Tuesday morning.
In the written statement, the court confirmed the draft and Chief Justice John Roberts vowed to investigate the leak, which represents an extremely rare breach of the court’s secretive deliberation process, and on a case of surpassing importance.
"Yesterday, a news organization published a copy of a draft opinion in a pending case. Justices circulate draft opinions internally as a routine and essential part of the Court’s confidential deliberative work. Although the document described in yesterday’s reports is authentic, it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case."
In the written statement Chief Justice John Roberts strongly condemned the leak.
"To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed. The work of the Court will not be affected in any way," Roberts said in the statement.
"We at the Court are blessed to have a workforce – permanent employees and law clerks alike – intensely loyal to the institution and dedicated to the rule of law. Court employees have an exemplary and important tradition of respecting the confidentiality of the judicial process and upholding the trust of the Court."
"This was a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here. I have directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak."
The document was labeled a “1st Draft” of the “Opinion of the Court” in a case challenging Mississippi’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks, a case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
The court is expected to rule on the case before its term ends in late June or early July.