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Tags: roe v wade | leak | abortion | supreme court

The Original Roe v Wade Abortion Decision Was Leaked, Too

Harry Blackmun
Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun leans on his desk in this 1975 photo. Blackmun, author of the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide and set off one of the most explosive political debates in American history, died on March 4, 1999 at age 90. (AP/The Washington Post)

By    |   Tuesday, 03 May 2022 02:08 PM EDT

Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the document leaked to Politico that indicates that the Supreme Court is going to strike down Roe v. Wade, but says it does not represent the court's final position. He's also ordered the Supreme Court marshal to investigate the leak.

In 1973, the original Roe v. Wade decision was also leaked to the press before the court had formally announced it, NPR related.

Jonathan Peters, a media law professor at the University of Georgia, noted that there were actually two Roe-related leaks in the 1970s.

Peters tweeted that firstly The Washington Post published a story about the court's internal deliberations, including a June 1972 memo from Justice William O. Douglas to his colleagues that was "mysteriously leaked."

Seven months later, Time magazine published the final decision and vote details just hours before the court was due to announce it, the consequence of an early scoop and a delayed ruling, Peters noted.

The court is once again dealing with an internal leak about an unreleased ruling on abortion rights, NPR noted.

Nina Totenberg on National Public Radio's Morning Edition called it a "bomb at the court" that undermines everything the body stands for internally and institutionally, including its members' trust in their law clerks and in each other.

She predicted that the court would try internally to find out who leaked the document, noting that while such a leak isn't a crime, "it's a career-ender for whoever did."

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In 1973, the original Roe v. Wade decision written by Associate Justice Harry Blackmun in 1973 was also leaked to the press before the court had formally announced it.
roe v wade, leak, abortion, supreme court
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2022-08-03
Tuesday, 03 May 2022 02:08 PM
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