Justice Samuel Alito skirts question about leaked Supreme Court draft decision overturning Roe

‘This is a subject I told myself I wasn’t going to talk about today regarding, you know — given all the circumstances,’ the justice says

Eric Garcia
Friday 13 May 2022 18:26
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Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito dodged a question when asked about a leaked draft opinion that he wrote showing the court was about to overturn Roe v Wade.

Mr Alito made his first appearance since the draft opinion leaked at Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, The Washington Post reported. Toward the end of the talk, a questioner asked how he and the other justices were.

“I think it would just be really helpful for all of us to hear, personally, are you all doing okay in these very challenging times,” someone asked Mr Alito, who spoke over video via a closed circuit from a room at the Supreme Court.

“This is a subject I told myself I wasn’t going to talk about today regarding, you know — given all the circumstances,” he said. “The court right now, we had our conference this morning, we’re doing our work. We’re taking new cases, we’re headed toward the end of the term, which is always a frenetic time as we get our opinions out.”

Mr Alito’s remarks come as many protesters have gathered in front of his and other Supreme Court jurists’ homes. Many demonstrators camped outside of the event. Last week, Politico published the draft opinion that Mr Altio, who has served on the court since 2006, wrote.

Justice Alito

“So that’s where we are,” he said at the law school’s fourth annual forum dedicated to the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

In his draft opinion, Mr Alito denounced the 1973 court decision that said that enshrined the right to terminate a pregnancy. He also denounced the 1992 decision Planned Parenthood v Casey, which reaffirmed the right to an abortion.

Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences,” the draft opinion said. “And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”

Conversely, at the university Mr Alito also criticised fellow conservative Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch for his opinion in Bostock v. Clayton County, which said that federal civil rights laws protected LGBTQ+ employees, calling Mr Gorsuch’s reasoning “in my view indefensible.”

“It is inconceivable that either Congress or voters in 1964 understood discrimination because of sex to mean discrimination because of sexual orientation, much less gender identity,” he said. “If Title VII had been understood at that time to mean what Bostock held it to mean, the prohibition on discrimination because of sex would never have been enacted. In fact, it might not have gotten a single vote in Congress.”

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