News of the leaked draft majority opinion that suggests the Supreme Court’s willingness to overturn Roe v. Wade spurred nationwide panic this week, with outrage spanning across the aisles. In its exclusive coverage of the documents, Politico described the court’s opinion as “a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision,” yet later noted the unprecedented nature of the SCOTUS leak. Politico’s strong language regarding the opinion aptly foreshadowed the rage of avid abortion rights activists in response to this week’s revelation, while others expressed grave concern at the breach of trust from within the Supreme Court’s inner circle.
It’s true that Republicans and Democrats alike are outraged. However, the indignation of the Left remains firmly centered around the court’s pending decision, not the implications of the leak itself. At a public speaking engagement on Tuesday, Vice President Harris said, “If the court overturns Roe v. Wade it will be a direct assault on freedom — on the fundamental right of self-determination to which all Americans are entitled.” She further described a reversal of Roe v. Wade as “a direct assault on freedom.”
President Biden likewise slammed the draft, describing a reversal of Roe v. Wade as “radical.” He suggested that the dismissal of “women’s rights” would pose a threat to a range of other rights, including same-sex marriage. In his comments to the press yesterday, the President stated, “I mean, so the idea that we’re going to make a judgment that is going to say that no one can make the judgment to choose to abort a CHILD based on a decision by the Supreme Court, I think, goes way overboard.” (emphasis added)
While the President and Vice President expressed their disgust at the Court’s draft decision, others focused on the implications of such a leak. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell regarded the leak as a “lawless action” and called for thorough investigation. He also urged the Court to resist bowing to activist pressure, citing the eroding effects on judicial legitimacy.
Weighing in also on the leak is former Attorney General William Barr. Barr described the leak as “unprecedented” and noted the increasingly politicized nature of our nation’s institutions. He emphasized the impact of such an exposure “to this kind of popular pressure and sort of potential mob psychology” to prevent the Court “from reaching a principled decision based on the merits.”
Chief Justice John Roberts, for his part, termed the release of the draft a “betrayal of the confidences of the court” and has directed the marshal of the court to investigate the leak fully.