by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who will replace Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court after the current term ends in a few weeks, sat for an interview by the Washington Post. She was asked about the leak of Justice Alito’s draft opinion in the Dobbs abortion case, and the consequent demonstrations at the homes of several justices — Chief Justice John Roberts, as well as conservative justices identified in media reporting as having voted with Alito to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
Here’s the relevant excerpt from the interview:
Q: What was your response when you when you saw the draft leak?
… A: Everybody who is familiar with the court and the way in which it works was shocked by that. Such a departure from normal order.
Q: Do you think it was a good thing or a bad thing?
A: I can’t answer that.
Q: What do you think about peaceful protests outside of Supreme Court justices’ homes?
A: I don’t have any comment.
This ranges from somewhere between cowardly and sinister, much like the failure of the justices to issue a joint statement that echoes the chief justice’s condemnation of the leak and statement of determination to identify the leaker, and that condemns the protests, which violate federal law.
The progressive justices, in particular, could do their institution a great service by rebuking the leak and the illegal actions patently intended to intimidate justices, regardless of vehement disagreements they may have with the draft (which, of course, remains a mere draft for discussion purposes, not a binding opinion of the Court). But they are AWOL and thus, like the Biden administration, tacitly approving of, or at least indulgent of, the scare tactics against the Court and its members.