The draft is real and an investigation will be launched, according to Chief Justice Roberts.
The leak does seem consistent with increasing polarization of the electorate as well as congress and other govt institutions. With no remaining overlap in parties, and identity groups, there just seem to be fewer and fewer restraints on confidentiality. Wikileaks, Snowden, escalating leaking during the Trump administration, all seem to have led (though not caused) to this point. The opinion itself suggests we may see more so-called established law cases overturned. Affirmative action, various gun control laws, etc. may all be on the block now that the conservatives appear to have a solid five vote majority that is willing to overturn important precedents. Rather than being an end point, this leak feels like the beginning of some sort of epochal judicial/social movement conflict.
I predicted six years ago that if The Former Guy was elected, he would place on the Supreme Court justices who would end Roe v. Wade. I was told at the time (and even after) that I was nuts, that I was alarmist or that I was just plain wrong. Well, here we are. If this draft opinion is accurate--and I think that it is, and that it is also very unlikely to change in any substantive way once it is formally released--exactly what I predicted is about to happen. The question now is, are "Blue States" ready? For the most part, I'd say that the answer is NO. "Red States" are studying ways to apply their anti-abortion laws outside their state's borders. Near as I can tell, only Connecticut has passed a law holding that the laws of the anti-abortion states are null and void inside its borders. ALL pro-choice states must do the same. We are already in the post Roe v. Wade era and we'd best prepare for it. Oh, one more negative to think about: The Supreme Court isn't going to be satisfied with this, nor will social conservatives. They'll be coming for Obergefell next.
David, Nice summary. Amazing how quickly you integrate disparate information streams into a coherent and informative whole for your readers. We all appreciate it. One question: 3 of the 5 Justices who apparently signed on to this majority opinion are graduates of Yale Law School, including its author. Should we dispatch a fleet of medical personnel to 127 Wall Street to resuscitate the woke among the administration, faculty and student body? Their shame and grief must be suffocating. It would have to be a large fleet. It’s one thing to have Justice White, another YLS graduate, as one of the two dissenters in Roe. Now three more who will live in YLS infamy. Woe is YLS.
No way a clerk would do this, right? Those kids are so eminent, risk-averse and so OF the system, respect authority, respect the institution, super smart and love their own careers. None of those people would risk all that they had achieved. No way. Thanks for the summary. I love that I don't have to wade through hysterical commentary from either side thanks to you. :)
I can see one way out of this, and it's a longshot at best. Roberts could pull a Warren Burger: ostensibly change his vote with the majority to overturn Roe and Casey, but then (using his prerogative as Chief Justice) assign himself to write the majority opinion which would still overturn Roe, but then carve out some kind of constitutional right to abortion. It's a longshot for several reasons, the biggest being that Burger was widely hated by his fellow Justices for doing this very thing.
I've seen it suggested elsewhere that if the leaker is some janitor (or whatever) who fished the draft out of a garbage can, there could be criminal charges. Anyone know exactly what those charges would be? (Disclosure: I'm a paralegal working for a major Medicaid subcontractor and currently earning a MLS degree, but this is way above my level of legal knowledge.)
Excellent synopsis of the similar coverage that I have seen about this after the Politico piece was dropped last night.
Sometimes a leak is just a scream into the void.
So well stated
Could be significant that Politico described its source for the voting line up of the judges as a person familiar with the Court's "deliberations" - but Politico described the person who actually leaked the opinion as only familiar with the "proceedings" in the case ("POLITICO received a copy of the draft opinion from a person familiar with the court’s proceedings in the Mississippi case ...."). Almost sounds like the leaker is not actually inside the Court, since the universe of people familiar with the deliberations would be small, whereas there are lots of folks familiar with the "proceedings."