Saying that whoever released it meant to “foment discord and upheaval” and intimidate the justices, Republicans on the House Oversight Committee are demanding that Attorney General Merrick Garland launch an investigation into the leaked Supreme Court draft decision striking down Roe v. Wade.
The 19 GOP members said in the missive that the release of Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion “was not accidental, but deliberate and calculated.”
“It stands to reason it was intended to affect either the ultimate outcome of the case or the public’s reaction to it,” wrote Rep. James Comer, the ranking Republican on the panel, in the letter sent Tuesday.
“Whoever is responsible for this breach must have known that the draft opinion would foment discord and upheaval, potentially pressuring Justices to reconsider their votes through threats or intimidation,” the Kentucky Republican said.
Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday verified the document as authentic and ordered the marshall of the court to begin an investigation into who leaked it.
The 98-page draft decision, published by Politico on Monday evening, showed that the court was poised to overturn the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion rights.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito wrote in the decision.
Comer and his Republicans told Garland that an investigation must begin to protect the integrity of the court.
“This flagrant attack on the Supreme Court, the pinnacle of the judicial branch, threatens to delegitimize and undermine our nation’s entire judicial system. Therefore, targeted and immediate congressional oversight is of the utmost importance,” they said.
The Republicans want Garland to turn over documents pertaining to the Justice Department’s investigation into the leak by May 17.
They also want a description of the potential laws broken by the leaker and information about any probes into threats made against members of the court.
The members of the House Oversight Committee are among a number of Republicans pressing for investigations into the release of the draft document.
“This lawless action should be investigated and punished as fully as possible,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) demanded on Tuesday.