(The Center Square) – Ongoing calls for threats of violence to be committed against Supreme Court justices continue after a draft opinion was leaked by someone in the court indicating that Roe v. Wade was likely to be overturned.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the leak itself was an attack on some of the justices – and an act of judicial insurrection.
“It was intentional to … potentially try to bully them into changing one of their positions and that is not something that’s appropriate for the judicial branch,” DeSantis said.
“You want to talk about an insurrection, that’s a judicial insurrection,” he added, “trying to kneecap a potential majority through extraconstitutional means.”
Chief Justice John Roberts said the leak wouldn’t undermine the integrity of the court’s operations, was a “singular and egregious breach” of trust and the Marshal of the Court is investigating it.
Mathew Staver, Founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, told The Center Square this wasn’t the first time in history a Supreme Court opinion was leaked. Prior to the court releasing its ruling on Roe v. Wade, “a law clerk told a third party about the opinion,” he said. “A media source wrote an article and planned on releasing it after the opinion was officially released, but the opinion was delayed and the article was published before the official release of the opinion.”
Roberts has a lot riding on whether or not the leaker is identified and punished, Dan McLaughlin at National Review Online notes.
“John Roberts’s Court is at stake here,” he argues. “If decisions can be leaked in draft form with impunity in order to influence their outcomes, this will become a regular feature of high-profile cases, placing the Court under even worse pressures and threats than already exist.”
And a bigger battle lies before the court and the nation in light of ongoing hostilities over a court opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas and former Supreme Court clerk and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, argue.
At an Eleventh Circuit judicial conference on Friday, Thomas said as a society, “we are becoming addicted to wanting particular outcomes, not living with the outcomes we don’t like,” according to Reuters. “We can’t be an institution that can be bullied into giving you just the outcomes you want. The events from earlier this week are a symptom of that.”
In addition to protests and threats of violence, activists published a map identifying where justices live and called for protests to be held outside of them. Some on Twitter have called for justices Alito and Thomas to be murdered.
Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked at a press briefing if the president supported activists posting the maps. She replied, “The reason people are protesting is because women across the country are worried about their fundamental rights.”
Cruz denounced the response, saying, “The Biden White House is openly urging rioters to target the Justices’ homes and threaten their families. Radical Democrats want to ‘burn it all down,’ and they are happy to employ violence against anyone who doesn’t comply.”
Cruz told Fox News’ Larry Kudlow the White House’s response “was another example of the Democratic Party being radicalized and taken over by the extreme revolutionary socialist Left. And they’re willing to destroy institutions.”
Leaking the draft opinion happened because “some woke, lefty twit decided ‘to hell with my obligations to my justice … to the Supreme Court or the rule of law’ and decided instead to use political pressure to politicize the court,” he said.
It was a result of “the Democrats multi-year campaign to politicize the court,” Cruz added, “to attack the court, that’s including Chuck Schumer standing on the steps of the court threatening justices by name.
“Joe Biden should be ashamed of himself,” he said. “He should walk out and say, ‘This is wrong and we’re not interested in burning the Supreme Court to the ground,’ but he’s too afraid to do that …”