According to a report from CNN legal analyst Joan Biskupic, the leak of a first draft Supreme Court opinion that indicates the conservative-leaning court has every intention of dismantling the 50-year-old court decision that legalized abortion, is just one sign the Chief Justice John Roberts' grip on the court is slipping.
With multiple reports stating Roberts has been working behind the scenes to save a portion of the Roe v Wade, or at least to tone down Justice Samuel Alito's inflammatory rhetoric, Biskupic claimed that Roberts is facing his biggest challenge since taking over as the 17th chief justice back in 2005.
According to journalist and Supreme Court biographer, Roberts is "enveloped in chaos" as he faces the multiple tasks of shepherding the abortion ruling to the point where it will be officially announced, while at the same time ferreting out who leaked the first draft.
According to the CNN report: "... the sheer release of a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito reflects a failure to protect the court as an institution. Never before has a full draft opinion been publicly revealed. And in this situation, the magnitude of the contents has shaken the country as people on both sides face the possibility that women may no longer have a right to end a pregnancy in its early weeks."
"Roberts, 67, has rarely been in a defensive posture. From his youth in Indiana, prep school, then Harvard and prestigious judicial clerkships, through his service in the Reagan administration, Roberts was a first-in-his-class achiever," Biskupic wrote before adding, "But at this moment, with a privacy landmark before the justices and an unprecedented leak, the usually steady Roberts is enveloped in chaos."
The CNN journalist claimed that, as the court has become more conservative, with the assistance of now-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Roberts' influence over his fellow conservatives has waned, often putting him in opposition to them.
"He has increasingly been relegated to dissent. Last year, when the new right-wing five let a Texas abortion ban after roughly six weeks of pregnancy take effect, he protested with his three liberal colleagues," she wrote. "Under the usual court schedule, Roberts would have about eight more weeks to try to turn the case around."
"His suggested middle ground appeared elusive at the start. Now, with Alito's drafted decimation of Roe, any compromise may be insurmountable," she warned.
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