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A Republican member of the House said during an interview on Thursday the U.S. Supreme Court’s liberal-leaning justices are very likely aware of who engaged in an unprecedented leak of a draft decision written in February overturning the landmark 1973 abortion legalization ruling known as Roe v. Wade.
In an interview with Newsmax TV, Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana said he was certain at least some of the justices know the leaker’s identity.
“We all could probably agree that the justices that were appointed by Democrat presidents know who the leaker was,” he said. “What bothers me, it’s not only the undermining that it did of the institution and the trust factor that these folks have with each other,” it’s that now that the trust is broken, “it’s very difficult to restore it.”
He went on to say that while he is not certain whether the release of the draft opinion was a criminal act, it is certainly against federal law to protest in front of a Supreme Court justice’s home with the intent to intimidate them into changing their mind about a ruling.
And there have been protests in front of the homes of some of the conservative justices who reportedly signed onto the majority draft opinion which was authored by Justice Samuel Alito.
“It is a federal crime to go in and try and get a justice to change their vote,” said Rosendale. “To try and influence the outcome of a court decision is a crime. It’s a federal crime, and again, we see the Department of Justice is laying down on the job and not pursuing these people that are trying to intimidate them.”
The Montana Republican predicted that eventually, the person or persons who released the information will be revealed.
“There could be more people involved, and those people could go all the way to the top,” he said. “Don’t eliminate the judges because you know people, so there’s no way that would happen. No way. Think about it. Michael Sussmann is on trial right now for Russiagate. That happened six years ago. We’re only getting answers right now. I hope it doesn’t take another six years to get answers to what happened at the Supreme Court.”
Rosendale also lashed out at President Joe Biden over rising energy and gas prices, which he said are devastating American families.
“The higher energy prices hurt the people on the lowest end of the income scale the most, and when you live in a very large rural state like Montana, this is incredibly hurtful to the weekly budget of anybody who lives there,” said Rosendale. “You have great distances of travel, and when you get to the store now, you’re finding out that the products are going to cost you a lot more as well. So this is just very bad. It’s inflation. The inflation that we see in the numbers that are reflected don’t even include the energy costs.”
The draft opinion was leaked to POLITICO earlier this month.
“The draft opinion is a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and a subsequent 1992 decision – Planned Parenthood v. Casey – that largely maintained the right,” the outlet reported.
In the “Opinion of the Court,” Alito wrote: “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.”
“We, therefore, hold the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. Roe and Casey must be overruled, and the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives,” he added.
The outlet continued:
Deliberations on controversial cases have in the past been fluid. Justices can and sometimes do change their votes as draft opinions circulate and major decisions can be subject to multiple drafts and vote-trading, sometimes until just days before a decision is unveiled. The court’s holding will not be final until it is published, likely in the next two months.
A subsequent report claimed that, according to conservative staffers on the high court, the justices who initially signed on to Alito’s decision — Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett — had not changed their minds.