GOP demands probe into SCOTUS abortion draft leak

0
11
GOP demands probe into SCOTUS abortion draft leak

Republican leaders are demanding a full criminal investigation into the unprecedented leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion — calling it a dangerous attack on the crucial rule of law.

“Last night’s stunning breach was an attack on the independence of the Supreme Court,” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement early Tuesday, hours after Politico shared the first draft of an opinion suggesting the court was poised to overturn the landmark abortion decision Roe v. Wade.

“By every indication, this was yet another escalation in the radical left’s ongoing campaign to bully and intimidate federal judges and substitute mob rule for the rule of law,” he said.

McConnell ripped President Biden and other Democratic leaders for issuing “disgraceful statements” that played into the “toxic spectacle” of the divisive issue of abortion, rather than outrage at the leak itself.

“Real leaders should defend the Court’s independence unconditionally,” he insisted.

McConnell also urged the Justice Department to consider “criminal charges if applicable” for the leaker, whom Politico only described as “a person familiar with the court’s proceedings” in a Mississippi abortion case heard by the Supreme Court in December.

Sen. Mitch McConnell ripped President Biden and other Democratic leaders for issuing "disgraceful statements" that played into the "toxic spectacle" of the divisive issue of abortion.
Sen. Mitch McConnell ripped President Biden and other Democratic leaders for issuing “disgraceful statements” that played into the “toxic spectacle” of the divisive issue of abortion.
EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

“This lawless action should be investigated and punished as fully as possible,” he demanded.

Donald Trump Jr. also tweeted Tuesday that if there is not a “thorough criminal investigation into who leaked privileged documents from the United States Supreme Court then we live in a clown show state.”

Sen. Mitt Romney joined calls for potential criminal charges in a statement declaring his support for the justices’ apparent impending decision.

Sen. Marco Rubio also slammed lawmakers for using the leak as a stance to further their agenda.
Sen. Marco Rubio also slammed lawmakers for using the leak as a stance to further their agenda.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

“The breach of the court’s deliberative process … is an appalling affront against a critical institution and should be fully investigated and those responsible should be punished,” Romney wrote.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio went even further as he shared a Vox reporter’s “shout out” to the leaker as a “hero … who said ‘f–k it! Let’s burn this place down.’”

“I wonder if the Jan 6th commission will now be looking into these leftist calls to insurrection?” Rubio asked.

“The next time you hear the far left preaching about how they are fighting to preserve our Republic’s institutions & norms remember how they leaked a Supreme Court opinion in an attempt to intimidate the justices on abortion,” the leading Republican tweeted.

Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley also told Fox News the leak was “plainly an attempt by the left to try and change the outcome in this case and corrupt the process.”

“The left continues its assault on the Supreme Court with an unprecedented breach of confidentiality, clearly meant to intimidate,” Hawley also tweeted.

“The clerk who leaked this should be disbarred.”

Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzler called the leak “outrageous & dangerous.”

“I pray & remain hopeful #SCOTUS stays true to this potential decision, but this unprecedented, intentional leak is malicious & threatens the independence of our highest court. Our judicial system should never be intimidated by the woke Left,” she wrote.

The outrage went beyond politicians, with legal experts also decrying the dangerous precedent.

Prominent law professor Jonathan Turley called it “nothing short of breathtaking.”

Sen. Mitt Romney
Sen. Mitt Romney joined calls for potential criminal charges in a statement declaring his support for the justices’ apparent impending decision.
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

“It would constitute one of the greatest breaches of security in the history of the Court,” he said.

“If this is a true copy of the draft opinion it is hard not to view this as a malicious act. What is the motivation of releasing such a decision? The only intent of such a leak is to trigger a response from outside of the Court,” he tweeted.

“The most likely motivation is obviously to pressure the Court and push the legislation in Congress on a federal abortion law before the midterm elections. It will also likely renew the call for court packing,” he insisted.

Calling it the “greatest crisis that Chief Justice John Roberts has faced in his tenure on the Court,” Turley told Fox News that the court leader will be driven to identify who was behind it.

“God have mercy on that soul, because the court will have none,” said Turley.

The widely followed SCOTUS blog insisted that it is “impossible to overstate the earthquake this will cause inside the court, in terms of the destruction of trust among the justices and staff.”

“This is the equivalent of the Pentagon Papers leak, but at the Supreme Court,” said Neal Katyal, a former acting U.S. Solicitor General, referring to the secret Vietnam War documents published in 1971.

Dan Epps, a professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis, called it a “massive violation of settled norms.”

“It just doesn’t happen,” he said, adding that the culprit likely “would be someone who is upset” about what the court is doing.

Ilya Shapiro, a lecturer at the Georgetown University Law Center, posted that the leaker is “someone on the left engaged in civil disobedience” and called the leak “inexcusable and threatens the court’s functioning.”

Several GOP senators have joined the calls asking for a review of who leaked the potential overturn of Roe v. Wade.
Several GOP senators have joined the calls asking for a review of who leaked the potential overturn of Roe v. Wade.
AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

The majority opinion was written by Justice Samuel Alito in February. It was marked as a first draft, and Politico conceded that it did not know if it had been changed since — nor if it would ultimately stand.

In it, Alito made clear that the justices were well aware of the backlash it could spark, insisting that it would not sway any decisions.

“We cannot allow our decisions to be affected by any extraneous influences such as concern about the public’s reaction to our work,” he wrote.

“We do not pretend to know how our political system or society will respond to today’s decision overruling Roe and Casey. And even if we could foresee what will happen, we would have no authority to let that knowledge influence our decision.”

Law professor Rick Hasen said the development could actually help the majority that overturns Roe v. Wade by deflecting commentary to breach of court secrecy norms and by “lessening the blow by setting expectations.”

With Post wires

Source link