Justice Alito: The Dobbs leak put Supreme Court justices’ lives at risk

Speaking on the evening of October 25 at the Heritage Foundation, Justice Samuel Alito said that the leaking of a draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court case which led to the overturning of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, jeopardized justices’ lives.

“The leak… made those of us who were thought to be in the majority in support of overruling Roe and Casey targets for assassination, because it gave people a rational reason to think they could prevent that from happening by killing one of us,” Alito said. 

This is not mere rhetoric. In May, pro-abortion group Ruth Sent Us doxxed conservative justices, posting their home addresses online. This led to weeks of protests at the justices’ homes, and even threats to their children.

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In early June, police arrested Nicholas John Roske of Simi Valley, California, who drove cross-country armed with “a Glock 17 with two magazines and ammunition, pepper spray, a tactical knife, a hammer, a screwdriver, a crowbar, zip ties and duct tape” and informed authorities he had come to kill Justice Kavanaugh. He has since pleaded not guilty to attempting to kill the justice.

Similarly, NBC reports that last week, a Georgia man “was arrested on weapons charges after police said they found two handguns and a shotgun in a van he was driving in Washington with plans to ‘deliver documents’ to the Supreme Court.”

Alito said that the leak “was a great betrayal of trust by somebody, and it was a shock, because nothing like that had happened in the past, so it certainly changed the atmosphere at the court for the remainder of last term.” Chief Justice Roberts announced an investigation to find the source of the leak in May; thus far, no results have been made public.

Alito expressed a desire to move past the recent turmoil. “[T]hat was last term. Now we’re in a new term,” Alito said Tuesday evening. He said that justices and staff “want things to get back to normal, the way they were before all of this last term, before Covid.”

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