US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who is behind the draft decision to abolish the right to abortion, revealed that he and other conservative judges in the court had become “targets for assassination” after the decision was leaked last year. The court’s decision was widely supported by anti-abortion activists who sought to take their fight to the states. But it caused anger and resentment among Americans who support abortion, and they are the majority, according to opinion polls.
“I have to travel in a tank with a security escort.” With these words the judge emphasized of the US Supreme Court Samuel Alito on Friday received death threats along with other conservative judges in the court, after a draft decision to annul the right was leaked. abortion who is behind it.
Alito told the Wall Street Journal in a rare interview that he believes he knows who leaked his draft decision about two months ago, before it was completed, but he has no proof of that.
and the unprecedented leak of the case known as “Dobbs” on May 2nd2022shook public opinion, whether because of its impact on the right to abortion or because it implies the penetration of politics in the court, which sees itself above partisan conflict.
“Personally, I have a good idea of who is responsible (for the leak), but that is different from the level of proof required to name someone,” he said.
“It was part of an effort to prevent Dobbs’ draft from becoming (…) a court decision,” he added.
After an extensive investigation, the court announced in January that it could not determine the source of the leak.
Alito said that Judge Brett Kavanaugh, after the draft was leaked, was almost attacked, as some considered him the likely vote for the decision.
A gunman was arrested in front of Kavanaugh’s home in Washington, D.C., in the early morning hours of June 8.
The man told police he had come from California to Washington to kill a Supreme Court justice, and that he was upset about the leaked draft and the school shootings.
“The judges of the court, who are believed to be in the majority, and who are believed to have agreed with my draft opinion, were really targets for assassination,” Alito said.
“It was reasonable for people to think they could possibly stop Dobbs’ decision to kill one of our judges,” he added.
Alito said the threat level rose after the leak, to the point where security prevented him from giving a speech at a local university last May. Until now, he has to travel in a “tank” with a security escort, according to his description.
Not only did the leak cause security problems, it also stirred up grudges among the nine magistrates.
He believed that the leak “created an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust. We worked on it (…) but it caused damage.”
Court published in 24 June delivered its decision, 6-3, to vacate the historic Rodd v. Wade decision of 1972 The right to abortion is guaranteed.
The decision was widely supported by anti-abortion activists who sought to take their fight to the states. But it caused anger and resentment among Americans who support abortion, and they are the majority, according to opinion polls.
Alito said the whole affair exacerbated criticism of the court, calling it “something new in my life”. “We are criticized every day, unfairly in many cases. Nobody defends us, practically nobody,” he added.
He criticized the legal community in particular for not defending the Supreme Court.
“They may have participated to some extent in these attacks,” he said.
But he made no mention of calls for more scrutiny of the nine judges, their political leanings and their money.
Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday declined to testify before Congress about the businesses of two conservative justices and lavish gifts received by one of them that raised ethical issues.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is seeking information on reports that the court’s longest-serving justice, Clarence Thomas, and his wife have received lavish gifts and spent multimillion-dollar vacations with billionaire Republican donor Harlan Crowe.
Roberts cited “concerns about the separation of powers and the importance of preserving the independence of the judiciary” in rejecting the committee’s invitation.
Asked about the reports about Thomas, who like himself is a conservative judge, Alito told the newspaper: “I’m not going to get into it.”
Supreme Court justices are not required to answer questions from the public after their lifetime confirmation by the US Senate.
The last time a justice answered questions in Congress was on 2011 And it was about the same topic.
However, the committee plans a hearing Tuesday on moral reform of the Supreme Court.