As the Supreme Court searches for the individuals who were responsible for leaking the draft opinion by Samuel Alito that could overturn Roe v. Wade, former President Trump recommended that they reach out to the journalists at Politico who broke the story.
Journalists Josh Gerstein and Alexander Ward wrote the article, which shocked the American people when it was published on May 2. The draft indicated that the Supreme Court would be overturning Roe v. Wade, a case which ruled abortion as constitutional, and removing the decision on whether or not to legalize abortion from the states.
In the document, titled Opinion of the Court, Alito wrote, “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
After the leak, Republicans and conservative voices expressed anger at the fact that it had occurred before the court’s official decision had been made.
On Wednesday, Trump wrote in a Truth Social post, “The U.S. Supreme Court MUST find, reveal, and punish the “Leaker.” Very easy to do.”
He continued, “Go to the reporter who received the leak. This is a tremendously serious matter that has never happened, to anywhere near this extent, before. The Court will be compromised and demeaned until this very big problem is solved!”
Trump’s comments come after Chief Justice John Roberts launched an investigation into the source of the leak.
“This was a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here,” Roberts said when the investigation was announced. “To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed.”
Trump’s suggestions may not be applicable in this case. Courts have ruled in the past that government officials cannot force journalists to reveal their sources, as confidentiality is a crucial part of journalism.
Gerstein and Ward acknowledged in the article that the leak would intensify the public perception of the case:
“No draft decision in the modern history of the court has been disclosed publicly while a case was still pending. The unprecedented revelation is bound to intensify the debate over what was already the most controversial case on the docket this term.”
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