In an extensive series of comments posted in a Twitter thread on Tuesday, Amy Kapczynski, a Yale Law Professor and former law clerk to both Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Stephen G. Breyer, made the case that the person who leaked the first draft opinion that will dismantle the historic Roe v Wade decision is likely a conservative with an agenda.
While conservatives who have never worked for the court have pointed the finger at the liberal members and their staff, Kapczynski maintained that it looks like the work of someone who is ''fanatically committed" to denying a woman the right to choose.
According to the professor, she initially assumed the leak to Politico was the work of a liberal but upon reflection she has changed her mind.
Writing, "Now I think MUCH more likely it was leaked by a conservative fanatically committed to every word of Alito’s monstrous opinion," she then added, "Timing: This draft was circulated in Feb. If a liberal was mad about it, why wait until April to send it to Politico? The op will be out in June. What are the benefits of releasing it early? And a BIG downside – the focus on the leak itself instead of the opinion. If you work inside the Court, you know that the most concrete impact of the leak is to lock in this opinion essentially as is. Any edits at this point reveal jockeying between Justices, undermine the majority, and Court itself. Embarrassing to the majority."
Noting that liberals on the court have spent years lobbying to get conservative justices to make their final rulings less extreme, she claimed it would be detrimental to their case to expose an early draft.
"Far and away most likely impact of the leaked draft is that it locks in 5 votes for this opinion, essentially without edits. Who would want that? So: This is about as extreme an opinion as you can have overturning Roe," she suggested.
Speaking from experience she added, "Now let’s talk psychology of [Supreme Court] clerks. The kinds of liberal students who end up at the Court are not an activist bunch. They are enormously risk-averse and rule-abiding. Hard to see how one of them blows their career out of the water in this way (for what benefit?)," before elaborating, "Conservatives also know that the leak will be blamed on the left, distracting from how devastating the reversal of Roe will be to the credibility of the Court. The career consequences of someone found out are far smaller on right than left, too, I’d wager."
You can see some of her tweets below with the whole thread found here.
Timing: This draft was circulated in Feb. If a liberal was mad about it, why wait until April to send it to Politico? The op will be out in June. What are the benefits of releasing it early? And a BIG downside \u2013 the focus on the leak itself instead of the opinion.— Amy Kapczynski (@Amy Kapczynski) 1651587544
Liberals have lived for years trying to eke out a sentence here or there in SCOTUS opinions to make these conservative decisions less terrible. Why leak something and undermine that whole strategy?— Amy Kapczynski (@Amy Kapczynski) 1651587545
Maybe Roberts says abortions ok in some time frame, preserving exceptions for the life of the woman, etc. And Kavanaugh is tempted by it \u2013 maybe not enough to vote for it, but enough to demand some changes to the Alito opinion.— Amy Kapczynski (@Amy Kapczynski) 1651587548
This is in NO WAY the most important story here. Alito's opinion is horrific, and we have failed the young people of this country yet again. It's a devastating moment. Much more to say about that, soon.— Amy Kapczynski (@Amy Kapczynski) 1651587550
Ted Cruz says he's 'utterly horrified' and wants 'real jail time' for SCOTUS abortion case leak www.youtube.com