U.S. Supreme Court

Alito says he has 'a pretty good idea' who leaked Dobbs, complains that organized bar isn't defending justices

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SCOTUS Roberts Court June 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court as composed June 30, 2022, to present. Photo by Fred Schilling via the Supreme Court website.

Justice Samuel Alito says he personally has “a pretty good idea who is responsible” for the May 2, 2022, leak of the U.S. Supreme Court’s abortion decision, “but that’s different from the level of proof that is needed to name somebody.”

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published Friday, Alito said he thinks that the leak was intended to prevent the high court from overruling Roe v. Wade by adopting the leaked opinion, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

“And that’s how it was used for those six weeks by people on the outside—as part of the campaign to try to intimidate the court,” he said.

Alito rejected speculation that a conservative leaked the opinion to keep the Dobbs majority intact.

“Look, this made us targets of assassination,” he said. “Would I do that to myself? Would the five of us have done that to ourselves? It’s quite implausible.”

Since then, security has been beefed up for the justices. Alito said he is “driven around in basically a tank.”

Alito also complained that attacks on the Supreme Court’s legitimacy by those on the left are growing, a phenomenon that is new to him.

“We are being hammered daily, and I think quite unfairly in a lot of instances,” Alito told the Wall Street Journal. “And nobody, practically nobody, is defending us. The idea has always been that judges are not supposed to respond to criticisms, but if the courts are being unfairly attacked, the organized bar will come to their defense.” Instead, “if anything, they’ve participated to some degree in these attacks.”

The New York Times and the Washington Post are among the publications that covered the interview.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “SCOTUS justices became ‘targets for assassination’ after leak of abortion opinion, Alito says”

ABAJournal.com: “Who leaked Dobbs? SCOTUS investigators don’t know, despite 97 employee interviews and forensic sleuthing”

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