Chief Justice Roberts Says Roe v. Wade Opinion Authentic, Launches Investigation to Find Leaker

May 3, 2022 Updated 12:16 PM ET

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May 3, 2022 Updated 12:12 P.M. ET

WASHINGTON, D.C. (FLV) – U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed that the leaked draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade is authentic and has launched an investigation to find the source of 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,” Roberts said. “The work of the Court will not be affected in any way.”

POLITICO obtained a drafted majority opinion from Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito that would essentially strike down the landmark pro-abortion decisions Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The Supreme Court has not given its final ruling, which is expected this summer. 

“Court employees have an exemplary and important tradition of respecting the confidentiality of the judicial process and upholding the trust of the Court,” Roberts said. “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.”

POLITCO reports that no draft decision in modern history has ever been publicized while the case is still pending.

“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 of the case,” a press release from the Supreme Court said.

The press release said it is routine for Justices to circulate draft opinions internally as an essential part of the Court’s confidential deliberative work. 

“I have directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak,” Roberts said. 

The majority draft opinion POLITICO obtained was written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito wrote for the majority.

We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” he said in the “Opinion of the Court.” “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett all joined Alito in the majority opinion, according to POLITICO.

Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan – Democrat-appointed justices – are reportedly working on multiple dissents. It is not clear which side Chief Justice John Roberts plans to officially vote.

Florida recently approved a new abortion law banning the procedure after 15 weeks in almost all cases.

“Hopefully in the future there will be no abortions. That babies will be wanted no matter when they are conceived,” Senator Kelli Stargel said at the signing ceremony. 

Read the full opinion here.

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