Ian Millhiser in Vox: Two events occurred Monday night — one historic, the other rather insignificant — which placed an unflattering spotlight on the Supreme Court of the United States. The historic event was that Politico published an unprecedented leak of a draft majority opinion, by Justice Samuel Alito, which would overrule Roe v. Wade and permit state lawmakers to ban abortion in its entirety in the US. Alito’s draft opinion is not the Court’s final word on this case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, but the leaked opinion is the latest in a long list of signs that Roe may be in its final days. The other event that also occurred last night is that I sent two tweets. One praised whoever leaked Alito’s opinion for disrupting an institution that, as I have written about many times in many forums, including my first book, has historically been a malign force within the United States. And a second celebrated the leak for the distrust it might foster in such a malign institution.
The former tweet was phrased provocatively, and it attracted some attention from those on the right, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). So let me clarify that I do not advocate arson as a solution to the Republican Party’s capture of the Supreme Court. I metaphorically compared the leak of Alito’s opinion to lighting the Court on fire because, as Chief Justice John Roberts noted in his statement on the leak, the Court has extraordinarily strong norms of confidentiality that it zealously protects. The fact that someone inside the Court’s very small circle of trust apparently decided to leak a draft opinion is likely to be perceived by the justices, as SCOTUSBlog tweeted out Monday night, as “the gravest, most unforgivable sin.”
To this I say, “good.” If the Court does what Alito proposed in his draft opinion, and overrules Roe v. Wade, that decision will be the culmination of a decades-long effort by Republicans to capture the institution and use it, not just to undercut abortion rights but also to implement an unpopular agenda they cannot implement through the democratic process. More here.