Supreme Court Justice Alito cancels conference appearance following draft opinion leak

The Supreme Court did not give a reason as to why Alito will no longer be speaking.

Updated: May 5, 2022 - 8:18am

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito canceled an upcoming appearance at a judicial conference scheduled to begin Thursday following the leak of a draft decision he wrote indicating that the court may soon overturn Roe v. Wade.

Alito was set to appear at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' judicial conference, a meeting of judges from the New Orleans-based federal appeals court, as well as the district courts in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Alito, a member of the court's 6-3 conservative majority, is the justice assigned to hear emergency appeals from the 5th Circuit.

A spokesperson for the Supreme Court did not provide a reason for why Alito would miss the conference.

The unprecedented draft leak, which was confirmed by Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday to be authentic, has sent waves across the U.S. among both supporters of abortion and members of the pro-life community. Roberts did emphasize that the draft is not final and that the court will investigate the leak. 

Justices Roberts and Clarence Thomas were also scheduled to speak at the 11th Circuit judicial conference in Atlanta on Thursday and Friday. It is unclear if the will still attend.