U.S. Supreme Court
SCOTUS justices became ‘targets for assassination’ after leak of abortion opinion, Alito says
The leak of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization caused people to think that they could change the result by killing a justice thought to be in the majority, Justice Samuel Alito said Tuesday.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said Tuesday the leak of the high court’s opinion striking down the right to abortion made justices “targets for assassination.”
The leak of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization caused people to think that they could change the result by killing a justice thought to be in the majority, Alito said in his remarks at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C.
The leak was “a grave betrayal of trust by somebody,” Alito said.
Fox News and the Washington Post say Alito’s statements about the leak appear to show that he didn’t know the leaker’s identity, despite an investigation trying to find the person responsible.
Alito pointed to the arrest of a California man accused of intending to kill Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The suspect was arrested near Kavanaugh’s home with items that included a gun, ammunition and zip ties.
According to the New York Times, Alito is the justice “most likely to give formal talks laying out his positions, often in caustic and combative fashion.” But on Tuesday, his tone “was generally mild and cautious.”
Alito also said:
• People are free to criticize Dobbs and other decisions based on reasoning. But the criticism “crosses an important line” when it claims that the Supreme Court is acting in an illegitimate way.
• Any decision on expanding the high court is up to Congress, although a nine-member court seems right to him. But if Congress expanded the court to influence future decisions, wouldn’t it affect the public’s perceptions of the court’s independence?
• The state of free speeches on college campuses is “disgraceful” and “pretty abysmal.” And law students should be able to speak their minds without fear of consequences.
The New York Times: “Alito assured Ted Kennedy in 2005 of respect for Roe v. Wade, diary says”