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The Supreme Court of the United States, the nation’s highest court, is sacred. The court’s confidentiality is of utmost importance. It is the final arbiter of some of the nation’s most significant and precedent-setting cases and renders its decisions free from external, political, or other influences. The justices are appointed for life and should be free to discuss the issues openly and freely.
The Potential Impact of the Leak
With this backdrop, the recent leak of the draft opinion purportedly overturning the landmark case of Roe v Wade inflicted significant and long-lasting damage to the sanctity and integrity of the nation’s highest court.
While the person or people responsible for this vile act have not been identified, the fact that the leak occurred raises serious concerns.
Most notably, given the high-profile nature of the case and the volatile emotions surrounding the issue of abortion, it is not unreasonable to think that the draft was released to exert tremendous pressure on the justices in hopes of swaying decisions before the final opinion is released.
If this turns out to be the case, all Americans, right or left, should strongly reject such nefarious and unethical conduct. The question is not whether Americans agree or disagree with the court’s decision in this or any other case. After all, this is not the first or the last case that the Supreme Court will decide, nor is it the only time where opinions will differ.
Other Efforts to Undermine or to Improperly Influence the Court
Rather, the more pressing issue revolves around the sanctity of the court, efforts to undermine the court’s independence, and attempts to influence the court improperly. While a leak of this nature is unprecedented, efforts to improperly influence or pressure the court are, unfortunately, not as rare.
In a 2019 Washington Post article, Marc Thiessen wrote:
What is not acceptable is openly threatening the court with political retribution if it does not rule a certain way. That is precisely what these Senate Democrats did. “The Supreme Court is not well,” they wrote. “And the people know it. Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured to reduce the influence of politics.’” As all 53 Senate Republicans wrote in a letter to the court last week, “the implication is as plain as day: Dismiss the case, or we’ll pack the Court.”
Sadly, there are other examples.
According to Fox News, several Democrats threatened the Supreme Court over abortion.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., previously gave the Supreme Court an ultimatum: reaffirm Roe v. Wade or else. According to the same report, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., warned the high court that if it “chipped away at Roe v Wade,” it would trigger “a seismic movement to reform the Supreme Court.” Finally, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., previously stated, “I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price.”
These comments and the recent leak of the court’s draft opinion are desperate efforts to exert pressure on the justices and improperly influence the court. Such efforts should fail as they undermine public confidence in the nation’s highest court and various institutions.
Democrats Praise the Leaker
Despite this, some on the left are praising the leaker(s).
For example, as reported by the Daily Caller, Brian Fallon, executive director of the liberal group Demand Justice, tweeted, “All Democrats need to show the same urgency as the clerk who apparently risked his or her career to sound this alarm. Those on the inside know best how broken the institution is. We should listen.”
Ian Millhiser, a senior correspondent at Vox, wrote, “Seriously, shout out to whoever the hero was within the Supreme Court who said ‘fuck it! Let’s burn this place down.”
Jezebel senior reporter Caitlin Cruz said, “A leak like this has never in the modern history of SCOTUS. It is a massive deal that someone thought the public deserved to see what was going on in their chambers. A hero.”
Such conduct is not heroic. It is improper, unprecedented, and extremely harmful. Time will tell what impact it will have on this case if any.
Mr. Hakim is an attorney and columnist. His articles have been published in The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, American Thinker, and other online publications. He is also a regular guest on OANN’s Tipping Point, and has appeared on Newsmax, The Dave Weinbaum Show, and Real America’s Voice.