Alito says Supreme Court abortion leak made justices 'targets for assassination'

Alito said the leak "changed the atmosphere at the court for the remainder of last term."

Updated: October 26, 2022 - 9:38am

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Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said the leak this past spring of a draft opinion that would become the basis for the court's conservative majority to strike down Roe v. Wade made justices "targets for assassination."

"The leak also made those of us who were thought to be in the majority and supportive of overruling Roe ... targets for assassination because it gave people a rational reason to think they could prevent that from happening by killing one of us," Alito said Tuesday during a Heritage Foundation event.

Politico published the leaked opinion in May, nearly two months before the Supreme Court published its final decision overruling the landmark 1972 abortion case Roe v. Wade and the subsequent 1992 decision of Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

Alito who wrote the draft opinion said the majority opinion on Casey case also made the court's conservative majority assassination targets.

Alito said he could not talk about a man having already been charged with attempting to assassinate Justice Brett Kavanaugh because it is a pending case.

The FBI said 26-year-old Nicholas John Roske hoped to kill three justices when he attempted to attack Kavanaugh in June.

"It was a shock because nothing like that had happened in the past," Alito said. "So it certainly changed the atmosphere at the court for the remainder of last term."

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