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One year and one day after the Dobbs opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked

by | May 3, 2023

By Dave Andrusko

It should have benn on my radar screen but, to be honest, it wasn’t. Not until I read Nancy Flanders fine piece did I remember it was a year ago (and a day) that the now famous leak of a draft of Dobbs—an “unprecedented breach of confidentiality” — went public.

“That draft opinion indicated that the court was poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, which had forced legalized abortion upon every state in the nation 49 years earlier,” Nancy writes. “The result of that leak was a fury of hostility and violence unleashed on pro-life organizations and churches around the nation.”

Her column, which we reposted today reminds us that the media cannot be bothered with such trivial developments as the wave of violence launched against pro-life groups and churches. Nor, for that matter, can the Biden administration, in particular the Department of Justice. After all, nobody’s been killed yet, right? So let’s “investigate” the violence at a snail’s pace.

Were the shoe on the other foot—if groups that supported the Democrat agenda were the object of terrorism—President Biden and the Department of Justice would not only be on the case 24/7, their rhetoric would be apocalyptic.

Justice Samuel Alito gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal which was published April 28. The lead in many publications was Justice Alito’s assertion that he’s got a “pretty good idea who is responsible” for leaking his draft of the Dobbs opinion.”

More stunning, however, was why.  

“It was part of an effort to prevent the Dobbs draft . . . from becoming the decision of the court,” Alito said, adding ominously that it was “part of the campaign to try to intimidate the court.”

As James Taranto and David Rivkin of the Journal noted, “It was done to set off exactly what happened – a round of threats and intimidation aimed at the conservative justices.”  

Justice Alito took the “logic” of what is, after all, domestic terrorism very, very seriously. “’It was rational for people to believe that they might be able to stop the decision . . . by killing one of us,’ Alito said.

“As we know, a would-be assassin did travel to Washington, D.C., planning to kill three justices. Fortunately, he was stopped outside of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home,” Taranto and Rivkin wrote.

As a consequence, Justice Alito explained

“I don’t feel physically unsafe, because we now have a lot of protection.” He is “driven around in basically a tank, and I’m not really supposed to go anyplace by myself without the tank and my members of the police force.”

The mounting attacks on the court’s “legitimacy” are widespread and calculated. The Democrats have set the narrative and the media happily amplifies every misbegotten charge.

The Washington Examiner put it this way:

“Democrats and the Left have engaged in a cynical ploy to gain power by delegitimizing a constitutionally mandated branch of government that they no longer control. This has been going on since three staunch originalist and textualist justices were confirmed during the last administration, creating a 6-3 conservative majority

Justice Alito says

“this type of concerted attack on the court and on individual justices” is “new during my lifetime. . . . We are being hammered daily, and I think quite unfairly in a lot of instances. 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.”

One other extensive quote from the Wall Street Journal interview. It captures perfectly the bind the conservative justices find themselves in. The mud slingers joyful pile on and then turn around and insist it’s the justice who are playing dirty.

“We’re being bombarded with this,” Justice Alito says, “and then those who are attacking us say, ‘Look how unpopular they are. Look how low their approval rating has sunk.’ Well, yeah, what do you expect when you’re—day in and day out, ‘They’re illegitimate. They’re engaging in all sorts of unethical conduct. They’re doing this, they’re doing that’?”

It “undermines confidence in the government,” Justice Alito says. “It’s one thing to say the court is wrong; it’s another thing to say it’s an illegitimate institution. You could say the same thing about Congress and the president. . . . When you say that they’re illegitimate, any of the three branches of government, you’re really striking at something that’s essential to self-government.”

Please take the time to read the interview with Justice Alito. It truly is required reading.

Categories: Dobbs