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Justice Alito: Abortion Ruling Made Me Assassination Target

Friday, 28 April 2023 05:11 PM EDT

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, author of the court's ruling to overturn abortion rights, said Friday that he and other conservative justices were "targets of assassination" after the decision was leaked last year.

Alito told the Wall Street Journal in a rare interview that he believes he knows who leaked the draft of his decision nearly two months before it was finalized, but he doesn't have proof.

The unprecedented leak of the so-called Dobbs case on May 2, 2022, rocked the country, both over what it meant for abortion rights and the implication that politics had permeated the court, which holds itself above the partisan fray.

"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 told the Journal.

"It was a part of an effort to prevent the Dobbs draft . . . from becoming the decision of the court," he said.

After a sweeping investigation, in January the court said it could not pinpoint the source of the leak.

Alito said it led to the near-attack on Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was viewed by some as a possible swing voter on the abortion rights issue.

An armed man was arrested outside Kavanaugh's suburban Washington home in the early morning hours of June 8.

The man told police he had travelled from California to Washington to kill a high court justice, saying he was upset about the leaked draft and school shootings.

"Those of us who were thought to be in the majority, thought to have approved my draft opinion, were really targets of assassination," Alito said.

"It was rational for people to believe that they might be able to stop the decision in Dobbs by killing one of us."

Alito said the threat level rose after the leak to the point that he was blocked by security from speaking in person at a local university last May.

He says that even he now must travel in what he labelled "a tank" surrounded by security.

The leak not only sparked security issues. It also added rancor to relations between the nine justices, said Alito.

The leak "created an atmosphere of suspicion and distrust. We worked through it . . . But it was damaging," he said.

© AFP 2024


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Alito told the Wall Street Journal in a rare interview that he believes he knows who leaked the draft of his decision nearly two months before it was finalized, but he doesn't have proof.
alito
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2023-11-28
Friday, 28 April 2023 05:11 PM
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