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Alito says Dobbs leak “made us targets of assassination”

Justice Samuel A. Alito reflected on the infamous Dobbs Leak, saying he thinks he knows who did it but can’t prove it.

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Alito says Dobbs leak "made us targets for assassination"

Justice Samuel A. Alito, who famously wrote the opinion of the court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, 597 US ____ (2022), denounced the Great Leak of his first draft, saying it “made us targets of assassination.”

Alito breaks silence

The relatively senior Justice reflected on the Dobbs Leak and life on the Court since, to The Wall Street Journal. Chris Donaldson at Biz Pac Review wrote his own summary of that interview. In addition, the Republican National Committee tweeted out their own link to the WSJ op-ed.

Speculation continues to this day as to the identity of the leaker, as this tweet shows:

That’s because the Court’s in-house investigation failed to identify the leader, and seemed to conclude the Court can’t find him. And the reason for that is that Court security is fearfully lax and based on a mutual trust that is no longer appropriate, if it ever was.

Justice Alito told the Journal he has “a pretty good idea” who did it. But suspicion is one thing, and proof another. Nor will the Justice name a name without proof; presumably he would consider that dishonorable.


But he did not hesitate to say why the leaker did what he did.

It was a part of an effort to prevent the Dobbs draft . . . from becoming the decision of the court. And that’s how it was used for those six weeks by people on the outside—as part of the campaign to try to intimidate the court.

That intimidation included attempted Justicial assassination. One would-be assassin was arrested not far from the home of Justice Brett Kavanaugh – carrying “tools of the trade.”

That aside, popular speculation has centered on the Chief Justice,

Justice Stephen A. Breyer, who was about to retire,

and the clerks for Justice Kagan or Sotomayor.


Very few have laid suspicion on Alito himself, or Justices Thomas, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, or Barrett. (They have no apparent motive.)

Returning to an old refrain

Justice Alito said many of these things once before – six months ago, in fact. Only recently has he hinted that he knows or suspects who leaked the draft.

But for the first time, he suggests that the leaker intended for someone to try to kill a Justice to change the composition of the Court.

Those of us who were thought to be in the majority, thought to have approved my draft opinion, were really targets of assassination. It was rational for people to believe that they might be able to stop the decision in Dobbs by killing one of us.

The learned Justice refused to speculate on whether Justicial assassination has already occurred. Or if he did, others have edited out his remarks along that line. But Justice Antonin Scalia died under suspicious circumstances in a Texas home that was essentially a hunting lodge. Then-President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to replace him, but Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Republican Floor Leader, refused to schedule a vote. This would lead Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) to blub about Garland’s failure of confirmation in the Judiciary Committee session then considering Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination. (Merrick Garland, of course, now serves as Attorney General.)

Again, Alito didn’t mention Scalia’s name, or if he did, someone redacted it. But he accused Democratic Party officeholders – and the White House – of poisoning the well regarding public perceptions of the Supreme Court.


It’s one thing to say the court is wrong; it’s another thing to say it’s an illegitimate institution. You could say the same thing about Congress and the president. . . . When you say that they’re illegitimate, any of the three branches of government, you’re really striking at something that’s essential to self-government.

Democrats have, in fact, proposed enlarging the Court. Ostensibly they speak of having one Supervising Justice for the Court of Appeals for each Judicial Circuit. (And maybe two for the three largest of the twelve Judicial Circuits defined today.) The real purpose, of course, is to change the ideological composition of the Court.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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