Judicial Notice (05.07.22): Cui Bono?
My speculation on Leakgate—and other legal news from the week that was.
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I spent this week the same way many of you did: reading practically everything out there about Monday night’s shocking leak of the initial draft majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the legal challenge to a Mississippi statute prohibiting most abortions after the fifteenth week of pregnancy. The draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito would overrule Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), sending the issue of abortion back to the states.
As emphasized by the Supreme Court in its Tuesday morning statement about the leak and by both pro-choice and pro-life groups on Twitter, the draft opinion does not represent the decision of the Court or even the final position of any justice. We simply don’t know what SCOTUS will decide in Dobbs, and we won’t know until the Court releases its final decision. This is why, despite the obvious importance of the issues in Dobbs, I have decided to focus more on discussing the leak than on the “decision”—because a draft opinion from February, surely superseded by later drafts and possibly no longer the majority opinion, is no decision at all.
Like every other legal commentator, I have some speculation about Leakgate. If speculation is not your cup of tea and you’d rather wait for actual facts, then you should skip this part of this week’s Judicial Notice.