Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito says that he has "a pretty good idea" of who leaked the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization draft decision last year.
"I personally have a pretty good idea who is responsible, but that's different from the level of proof that is needed to name somebody," Alito said, according to the Wall Street Journal. "It was a part of an effort to prevent the Dobbs draft ... from becoming the decision of the court. 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."
"Those of us who were thought to be in the majority, thought to have approved my draft opinion, were really targets of assassination," Alito said, according to the Journal. "It was rational for people to believe that they might be able to stop the decision in Dobbs by killing one of us."
"I don't feel physically unsafe, because we now have a lot of protection," he said, noting that 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."
He said that the leak "created an atmosphere of suspicion and distrust. We worked through it, and last year we got our work done. This year, I think, we're trying to get back to normal operations as much as we can. ... But it was damaging."
The decision returned to states the authority to decide how to handle the issue of abortion and whether to prohibit it.
"Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences," Alito wrote in the opinion. "The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives."
An investigation into the leak failed to produce the perpetrator or determine how Politico had obtained the draft opinion.
"At this time, based on a preponderance of the evidence standard, it is not possible to determine the identity of any individual who may have disclosed the document or how the draft opinion ended up with Politico," the Supreme Court Marshal's report stated earlier this year.
Alito, who was nominated to serve on the Supreme Court by President George W. Bush, has served on the high court since early 2006.
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