The United States Supreme Court justices met for the first time on Thursday behind closed doors a week after the draft opinion set to overturn Roe v. Wade was exposed.
As per the New York Post, the nine justices met privately ensuring no clerk and other staff sat with them during the conference. The Associated Press said United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett took notes of the proceedings being the youngest among her colleagues.
The Supreme Court Justices Behind Closed Doors
The justices have 37 cases pending their decision this June or early July, including the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization case on which Associate Justice Samuel Alito wrote the draft opinion that was leaked last week. The justices announced that one decision will be released on Monday, which Christian musician Sean Feucht noted would be a day before their scheduled Rally For Life at the Supreme Court. The justices, however, did not disclose if the leaked draft was part of their discussions, though many reports assume it is.
"The court right now, we had our conference this morning, we're doing our work. We're taking new cases, we're headed toward the end of the term, which is always a frenetic time as we get our opinions out," Alito told The Washington Post.
BREAKING: Major SCOTUS Decision coming Monday, May 16th.
The day before our #RallyForLife at the Supreme Court.
Is this THE ONE?
Posted by Sean Feucht on Thursday, May 12, 2022
Alito wrote the draft opinion on behalf of four other justices including Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Clarence Thomas; who comprise a majority of the court's judges. The opinion was circulated internally last February and Chief Justice John Roberts has ordered an investigation on how Politico got hold of it.
The Justices Threatened With Protests
This threatened pro-choice advocates that abortion rights will be extinguished, especially after Alito wrote in the draft opinion that the Supreme Court's 1973 ruling on Roe v. Wade was "egregiously wrong from the start."
Pro-choice advocates held various protests across the country over the weekend alongside extremists defacing churches and disrupting ongoing worship, EWTN Nightly reported. This excludes protests held outside the homes of six conservative judges--those mentioned in the draft opinion including Roberts--by pro-choice advocates.
The protests have prompted Republicans to urge Attorney General Merrick Garland to end the protests in line with federal law on such demonstrations meant to influence a justice official on a pending case. Garland, in turn, responded by directing marshals to ensure the safety of the justices.
Also Read: Prayers For Supreme Court Justices Sought After Draft Overturning Roe Leaked
Meanwhile, pro-abortion giant Planned Parenthood declared a nationwide protest will be held this coming weekend due to Alito's opinion. This is on top of NARAL Pro-Choice America launching a Bans Off Our Bodies campaign with a scheduled rally on Saturday that will be staged in various locations in the country, as well as, virtually. NARAL said they are fighting back against Republicans who recently shelved the abortion-until-birth bill, H.B. 3755, and against the justices for the draft opinion.
Vanity Fair raised that the Supreme Court lacks the tools for the investigation Roberts called for. The media outlet cited a report in New York Times that raised no law specified the conduct for investigations of such a breach of trust. Politico also raised in a podcast the lack of clarity on the right or authority of Roberts to order anyone to cooperate with the investigation.
At present, two of the theories circulating on who provided a copy of the draft opinion involve a clerk of a conservative justice "who was afraid that this majority might not hold." Another theory involves the clerk of a liberal justice who leaked the document "to galvanize Democrats and shift the outcome."
Related News: Supreme Court Should Issue Abortion Ruling 'Immediately' Since Leak Reflects Majority: Op-Ed