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Tags: chief justice | john roberts | supreme court | roe v. wade | leak | appalling

Chief Justice Roberts: Supreme Court Leak 'Absolutely Appalling'

john roberts poses for the camera
Chief Justice John Roberts sits during a group photo of the Justices at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on April 23, 2021. (Erin Schaff/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 06 May 2022 08:51 AM

Chief Justice John Roberts on Thursday called the leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade "absolutely appalling," CNN reported.

Roberts, attending the 11th Circuit Judicial Conference in Atlanta, was making his first public appearance since confirming the authenticity of a leaked draft opinion suggesting the high court might be prepared to strike down the landmark 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide.

The chief justice on Tuesday had said the leaked opinion did "not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case."

Sources told CNN that Roberts did not want to completely overturn Roe v. Wade, meaning he would have dissented from part of the opinion.

The chief justice told conference attendees that he hoped "one bad apple" would not change "people's perception" of the nation's highest court and workforce, CNN reported.

Roberts also said that if "the person" or "people" behind the leak think it will affect the work of the high court, they are "foolish."

The chief justice appeared at the conference shortly after Associate Justice Samuel Alito pulled out of a scheduled public appearance following the leak of his draft opinion. Alito had been set to attend the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' judicial conference.

Justice Clarence Thomas, scheduled to speak at the 11th Circuit conference on Friday, sat in the front row as Roberts spoke.

The chief justice arrived at the conference with a security detail and received a standing ovation, CNN reported.

The Supreme Court is on a brief recess. The justices are scheduled to hold a closed-door conference in Washington, D.C., on May 12.

Politico first reported on the leaked opinion Monday night. The news triggered protests from pro-abortion groups, and energized anti-abortion supporters.

"The Constitution makes no reference to abortion and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision," wrote Alito, who added that Roe was "egregiously wrong from the start" and that its reasoning was "exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences," Politico reported.

Roberts on Thursday also discussed other topics, such as his early goal of seeking unanimity on the bench.

"I soon learned on the court that unanimous means 7-2," joked Roberts, who added that narrower opinions joined by more justices are a "good objective" at times.

He also said that not all dissents needed to be publicized, adding he saw a good reason for "graveyard dissents" that get buried, CNN said.

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Chief Justice John Roberts on Thursday called the leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade "absolutely appalling," CNN reported.
chief justice, john roberts, supreme court, roe v. wade, leak, appalling
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2022-51-06
Friday, 06 May 2022 08:51 AM
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