Washington — unprecedentedto reverse Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the draft and final opinion by the court’s conservative majority, said on Tuesday that the judges who voted to jeopardize the constitutional right to abortion put their lives at risk.
“The leak also made those of us who were considered in the majority to cry for assassination and in support of eliminating KC targets because it gave people a logical reason to think they were one of us. Killing can stop this from happening,” Alito said. During a question-and-answer session at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.
Alito said he supported the notion that the judges’ lives were in danger: A California man was armed with a gun, a knife and various equipment.outside Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Maryland home in June and charged with attempted murder. The man, Nicholas Roske, said he was upset about the leak of draft opinions for Roe’s overturning and shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, according to law enforcement.
In addition to making Justice a target of violence, Alito said the leak of a draft opinion to news outlet Politico in May “changed the atmosphere” at the Supreme Court for the rest of his term, which ends this summer.
“It was a blatant betrayal of one’s trust and it was a shock because nothing like this had happened in the past,” he said.
Alito’s final majority opinion, which rejected Roe in June, closely mirrored his draft, the release of which sparked protests on the Supreme Court and outside the homes of some judges. Supreme Court police reported a “significant increase in violent threats”, including threats made on social media and directed at members of the court,from the Department of Homeland Security, and Attorney General Merrick Garland To provide additional assistance to the marshals of the Supreme Court to ensure the safety of judges amidst public protests.
Chief Justice John Roberts directed a court martial to investigate the leak, although it is unclear whether the identity of the person who provided the draft opinion to Politico is known.
Alito said he and his fellow judges, as well as Supreme Court staff, wanted to “get back to normal to the greatest degree” in the wake of Row’s reversal and the COVID-19 pandemic, which closed the building’s doors. public. The High Court last month convened for its new term and welcomed back members of the public for oral arguments.
Alito also noted that during his 16 years on the Supreme Court, judges have always sided on a personal level, although he acknowledged that is often not reflected in their written opinion.
“We sometimes disagree very passionately about the law, and in recent years we haven’t been all that restrained about the terms in which we express our disagreements. I’m probably on this score as much as other people. I’m guilty.” “But none of this is personal, and it’s something that I think I want the public to understand.”
During extensive public interviews, Alito also emphasized criticisms that the Supreme Court has deviated from public sentiment and been biased in some of its decisions, threatening its legitimacy.
“Everyone in this country is free to disagree with our decisions. There is no question about it. Everyone is free to criticize our reasoning and in the strongest terms. And this is certainly in the media and under the law. The writings of professors are done and on social media,” he said. “But to say that the court is demonstrating a lack of integrity is something different. It goes on character.”
Alito said that a person “crosses an important line when they say that the court is acting in a way that is illegitimate. I don’t think anyone in a position of authority should make that claim lightly.” It’s not just general criticism. It’s something very different.”
Justice also weighed in on proposals to add seats in the Supreme Court, saying the size is determined by Congress, although nine is a “good number”. But Alito also raised a rhetorical question that was intended to cut claims of court legitimacy.
“If Congress were to change the size of the court, and the public assumed that the reason for changing the size of the court was to influence decisions in future cases, which Congress anticipated the creation of the court, at some point in the near future. But deciding, will this affect the public’s perception of our independence and legitimacy?” He asked.