Washington D.C., May 3, 2022 / 10:12 am
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. on Tuesday confirmed the authenticity of a leaked preliminary draft opinion in a pivotal abortion case, and ordered an immediate investigation in what he called a "betrayal of the confidences" of the Supreme Court.
The news organization Politico published the 98-page document, written by conservative justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. and calling for the overturning of the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade, on Monday night.
In a statement released late Tuesday morning, Roberts said he has directed the Marshal of the Court "to launch an investigation into the source of the leak." Such internal working drafts are supposed to remain strictly confidential, according to the court's longstanding custom. A final decision in the Mississippi abortion case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, is not expected for another two months at the end of the court's term.
"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.