White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted on Monday that President Biden “strongly believes in the Constitutional right to protest. But that should never include violence, threats, or vandalism. Judges perform an incredibly important function in our society, and they must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety.” This statement came following a “leading theory” uncovered by NPR that it was actually a clerk for a conservative justice that leaked the draft opinion authored by Justice Samuel Alito, demonstrating that the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe V. Wade, according to NPR’s legal affairs correspondent, Nina Totenberg.
Totenberg also said on ABC’s This Week that “Chief Justice Roberts might persuade one of the conservatives to come over to him in a much more moderate opinion.” When asked how much has this leak rattled the institution and the way it’s viewed, Ms. Totenberg stated, “the way it’s viewed, it’s an earthquake, and I think within the court itself it’s an earthquake”, that a “leak of an entire draft of a majority opinion had never occurred before”, and that she believes “the only one that makes sense is that it came from somebody who was afraid that this majority might not hold, that Chief Justice Roberts might persuade one of the conservatives to come over to him in a much more moderate opinion.”
In an exclusive six days ago, Politico’s bombshell reporting of Justice Alito’s leaked draft regarding the overturning of Roe V. Wade, caused protests across the United States, including in New York, Chicago, Houston, and Atlanta, among others. Dozens of protesters chanted outside of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s and Chief Justice John Robert’s homes in the D.C. area over the weekend and demonstrations are expected to continue throughout this week, including one planned in front of Justice Samuel Alito’s residence in Washington this Wednesday at 7:00PM, according to WUSA9 reporting.
Following the leak, Justice Roberts condemned it as “a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here.” Republicans have collectively denounced the leak as an injustice, suggesting it to be a political attack from the liberal camp. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has stated that “for years, the radical left has attacked the institution of the Supreme Court […] It appears their campaign hit a new low […] Somebody, likely somebody in the Court itself, leaked a confidential, internal draft to the press. Almost certainly in an effort to stir up an inappropriate pressure campaign to sway an outcome.”
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) also speculated on Fox News on Sunday that the leak was “almost certainly one of the 12 law clerks that are clerking for the three liberal justices” and that it was a “woke little left wing twit” who leaked the draft. He went on to comment that the left is “determined to tear down the institutions of our country” and wants to “destroy the Supreme Court.”
In light of this turn of events by NPR reporting, it seems that the collective campaign effort from Republicans and the conservative right wing to blame liberals regarding who leaked the draft seems to have backfired on them. One thing is for sure: both sides urgently wish to find out who is to blame, given the importance of the midterm primary elections, and the upheaval this leak has caused.