Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said he has a “pretty good idea” about who exactly leaked the draft ruling of the Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision, which sparked national outrage and a series of intimidating demonstrations outside conservative Justices’ homes.
In an interview with two Wall Street Journal writers, Alito lamented the “atmosphere of suspicion and distrust” the leak created.
The draft ruling of the court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization leaked more than a month before the opinion was formally announced, which revealed the Supreme Court planned to overturn Roe v. Wade’s ruling establishing the federal right to have an abortion.
The draft was leaked to the political news outlet Politico.
Chief Justice John Roberts ordered to court’s marshal to investigate the identity of the leaker, but months later in January it concluded it as unable to identify the source.
While Alito said the marshal did “a good job with the resources available”, the evidence it was able to gather was ultimately not sufficient to name a suspect.
“I personally have a pretty good idea who is responsible, but that’s different from the level of proof that is needed to name somebody,” Alito said.
He also said he believes the leaker’s motive was to pressure the court to change their opinion.
“And that’s how it was used for those six weeks by people on the outside — as part of the campaign to try to intimidate the court,” Alito said.
The final ruling ended up being very similar to the leaked draft.
Contrary to the leaker’s hopes, the leak reportedly locked in the votes in the last few weeks before the decision was released, according to the book, “Nine Black Robes”.
Written by Joan Biskupic, who has previously published successful books about individual Justices, the book claims the leaks effectively shut down any hope for compromise.