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Alito says Supreme Court leak made conservative justices ‘targets for assassination’

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On Tuesday, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said that the leak of his draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade last spring was a “grave betrayal” and a “shock.”

Alito said that this put his life and the lives of other Supreme Court Justices in danger, adding that he and the other Justices were “targets for assassination.”

Alito said that those who opposed the draft would have had an incentive to take him out as they may believe that the release of the final opinion could have been stopped “from happening by killing one of us.”

Alito said that authorities have charged a man with attempting to murder Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Alito also said that the leak “certainly changed the atmosphere at the court for the remainder of last term,” but once the new term started, the justices wanted to “get back to normal.”

“And that’s what we hope will happen,” Alito said in a speech he made at the conservative Heritage Foundation. He reiterated that although the justices don’t always agree on paper, they have “always gotten along very well on a personal level.”

Alito also said during the same appearance that he disagreed with a couple of remarks made by “couple of his colleagues” about the legitimacy of the Supreme Court.

“Everybody in this country is free to disagree with our decisions,” he said, adding that “there’s no question about that.”

“But to say that the court is exhibiting a lack of integrity is something quite different that goes to character,” he said. Alito said that it “crosses an important line” when someone says that a court is “acting in a way that is illegitimate.”

“I don’t think anybody in a position of authority should make that claim lightly,” he said. “That is not ordinary criticism – that is something very different.”

Chief Justice John Roberts made similar comments after the draft was leaked, referring to it as a “betrayal of the confidences of the court.”

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