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Samuel Alito Cancels Appearance At Judicial Conference After Roe Draft Leaks


Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito canceled an appearance at an upcoming judicial conference, two days after a draft decision he authored leaked to Politico, showing the body is poised to overturn the landmark abortion protections in Roe v. Wade.

Reuters first reported that Alito was set to seem on the fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ judicial conference this week. The event hosts judges from the region, which encompasses Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, with Alito being the justice assigned to listen to any emergency appeals from the fifth Circuit.

Patricia McCabe, the court’s spokesperson, confirmed to the outlet that Alito wouldn’t be attending but gave no further details about why he had canceled.

Alito, a member of the court’s six-justice conservative bloc, authored the draft majority opinion, which excoriates the 1973 Roe decision, calling it “egregiously improper from the beginning.”

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito in 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

“We hold that Roe and Casey have to be overruled … It’s time to heed the Structure and return the problem of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,” the draft reads.

The court’s official ruling on the matter is simply final when published, and justices can change their votes up until that time (expected to be in June). But Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the draft was authentic on Tuesday, sparking national condemnation from Democrats and civil rights advocates.

The incontrovertible fact that the draft opinion leaked in any respect is shocking, and it’s extremely rare to get an insight into the court’s considering before an opinion is published. Roberts has vowed to analyze the leak, saying it amounted to a “betrayal.”

Reuters notes that Roberts and Justice Clarence Thomas were expected to talk at an analogous event for the eleventh Circuit in Atlanta, even though it’s unclear in the event that they planned to attend. The circuit conferences are the primary in-person events because the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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