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Last night, Politico leaked an alleged copy of a draft opinion for Dobbs v. Jackson, circulated by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, which reverses Roe v. Wade and Casey, two cases which have formed the backbone of abortion jurisprudence.

The leak of the draft is enormous in itself, as opinions are held tightly shut, and the network of Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) clerks, despite holding varying political beliefs and having different agendas, do not leak the content of decisions. Politico reporter Josh Gerstein, who co-wrote the leaked opinion article, wrote a second piece that called leaks from the court “very rare.”

So why would someone leak the draft, presuming it’s real? Or at least why would someone go through the process of writing a fake 98-page draft, complete with footnotes?

Some legal and political observers believe it is to pressure SCOTUS, particularly the squishier center-right justices like Gorsuch or Kavanaugh, to change their votes. Some believe that at a minimum it will interfere with the way SCOTUS operates. Read more…