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Samuel Alito, the Supreme Court justice who authored the leaked majority draft opinion showing the court is preparing to strike down abortion rights in Roe v. Wade, first addressed the leak on Thursday.
“It’s a topic that I thought I wasn’t going to talk about today, you know, given all the circumstances,” Alito said at an event at the Antonin Scalia Law School in the city. ‘George Mason University, in response to a question about how the judges got along, according to The Washington Post.
The nine High Court judges met privately on Thursday morning for the first time since Politico published Alito’s draft last week.
“The court right now, we had our conference this morning, we are doing our job. We’re taking new cases, we’re heading towards the end of the term, which is always a frenetic time as we voice our opinions,” Alito said.
“So that’s where we are,” he continued.
Chief Justice John Roberts told a gathering of lawyers and judges at a court conference in Atlanta on May 5 that he hoped “one rotten apple” wouldn’t change “people’s perceptions.” of the Supreme Court, according to CNN.
Roberts has previously confirmed the authenticity of the leaked document and said he has ordered an investigation. The origin of the leak remains unknown.
Alito’s draft opinion challenged rulings upholding abortion rights in Roe and a later case, Planned Parenthood v. Casey. If the court’s decision, expected within the next two months, follows the plan, more than 20 states would have to completely ban abortion.
“Roe got it horribly wrong from the start,” Alito wrote in the draft. “We believe that Roe and Casey should be thrown out…It’s time to uphold the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the elected representatives of the people.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
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