Legal expert reveals two reasons why conservatives might have leaked Roe draft -- not the court's 'outraged liberals'
Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito (Italian embassy/Flickr)

A draft ruling leaked that appears to show the U.S. Supreme Court will strike down Roe v. Wade, and a legal expert examined why someone would have made the exceedingly rare move to reveal the court's inner workings on a matter of such importance.

Barbara McQuade, a former U.S. attorney and MSNBC legal analyst, told "Morning Joe" that there were several possibilities that might have motivated the leaker, and she cautioned against assuming it could have come from someone who disagreed with the majority opinion drafted by Justice Samuel Alito.

"It's possible that horse trading does occur, you'll see drafts go back and forth," McQuade said. "Someone will say, 'I can't sign on to this opinion, but what I could sign on to is one that is the position that the Dobbs case was actually advocating for, which is a ban after 15 weeks or later, so we could see that. But what I don't think we're going to see is a complete reversal that says Roe still stands, which was the viability standard."

Leaks rarely come from inside the court, especially on pending matters, and McQuade said it was highly significant.

RELATED: 'This is her legacy': Critics pile on 'disgrace' Susan Collins after leaked opinion overturning Roe

"It really begs the question, who is behind this leak and why?" she said. "There are a lot of theories. You know, one is that it is the outraged liberals on the court. The other is that it is some of the conservatives trying to dull the uproar when this ultimately comes out."

"There is also the possibility that it is somebody who wants to see this case locked in, this decision, because those who care about legitimacy, like Chief Justice [John] Roberts, will be very uninclined to want to change their view after it has been out there in the public domain, less it appears that they are caving to public pressure," McQuade added. "So I think that really speaks a lot about what is going on in the internal dynamics of the court here."

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RELATED: 'This is her legacy': Critics pile on 'disgrace' Susan Collins after leaked opinion overturning Roe