McConnell slams ‘lawless’ leak of SCOTUS abortion draft

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McConnell slams 'lawless' leak of SCOTUS abortion draft

​Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday slammed the unprecedented leak of the drafted Supreme Court decision striking down Roe v. Wade, blasting the “lawless act” as designed to force the justices to reverse course.

“Never before in modern history has an internal draft been leaked to the public while the justices were still deciding a case​,” McConnell (R-Ky.) raged on the Senate floor.​​ “​Whoever committed this lawless act knew exactly what it could bring about.”

McConnell called the leak of the decision written by Justice Samuel Alito a “shocking new breach” ​that was “likely” carried out by someone inside the court “almost certainly in an effort to stir up an inappropriate pressure campaign to sway an outcome.”​

McConnell accused the “radical left” o​f attacking the Supreme Court for years and said the leak Monday evening “appears their campaign hit a new low historically.”​

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion was a “lawless act.”
C-SPAN

The court deserves to deliberate with confidentiality, he said, to discuss cases in “an environment of total trust and privacy.​

“Judicial independence is vital. But the far left has spent years shamelessly attacking it,” McConnell said. 

“Liberals want to rip the blindfold off Lady Justice. They want to override impartiality with intimidation. They want to elevate mob rule over the rule of law.”

Supreme Court
Sen. Mitch McConnell said the leak was meant to intimidate the Supreme Court Justices into changing their minds.
POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Abortion protest
Sen. Mitch McConnell said the left wants to “elevate mob rule over the rule of law.”
AP

In his 98-page draft majority decision, Alito, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush, wrote that “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start​.​

“It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,” ​he wrote in the decision, which was obtained by Politico​.

McConnell and other Republicans are demanding that an investigation be launched to determine who leaked the document. 

Map of states likely to restrict abortion access
In the draft, Alito writes it is time to “return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

“The Chief Justice must get to the bottom of it, and the Department of Justice must pursue criminal charges if applicable,” the Senate leader said in ​a statement​ issued before his remarks on the Senate floor​.

The court’s chief justice, John Roberts, on Tuesday ordered “the Marshal of the Court” to probe the leak.

McConnell also denounced comments made by President Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, all Democrats, in the wake of the leak.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the leaked majority opinion that “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.”
Bloomberg via Getty Images

“The disgraceful statements … refuse to defend judicial independence and the rule of law and play into this toxic spectacle. Real leaders should defend the Court’s independence unconditionally,” McConnell said.

Schumer and Pelosi in a joint statement said several conservative SCOTUS justices “lied to the US Senate, ripped up the Constitution and defiled both precedent and the Supreme Court’s reputation” in the Alito decision. They were referring to the three justices former President Trump nominated.

Biden, in his statement, said a woman’s right to choose is “fundamental” and that the “stability of our law demand[s] that it not be overturned.”

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