Thursday, February 2, 2023
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Roberts Reportedly Lobbying Kavanaugh, Barrett to Flip on Abortion

'The work of the Court will not be affected in any way... '

(Headline USASupreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is reportedly lobbying Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh to flip their votes on an upcoming case regarding Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, is set to be decided next month and could overturn both Roe and Casey. A leaked draft of the court’s majority opinion showed that five justices, including Kavanaugh and Barrett, would support such a move. And that five-vote majority remains intact – even after the leak, according to the Washington Post.

Roberts, however, is trying to convince Barrett and Kavanaugh to change their votes, according to sources close to the bench. He wants to preserve the Mississippi law restricting abortion after 15 weeks, but also keep Roe and Casey in place. 

“Many who know him well and have watched his maneuvering of the court through other issues are certain he is still preparing his own opinion in hopes he might draw at least one of the court’s newest conservatives to his side,” the Post wrote. 

Roberts confirmed last week that the leaked draft overturning Roe was legitimate, but emphasized that the court is still deliberating and that the decision represented in the draft was not final.

“To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed,” Roberts said in a statement last week. “The work of the Court will not be affected in any way.”

The more conservative members of the Supreme Court – Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Neil Gorsuch – have been worried in the past about which way Barrett and Kavanaugh might vote, and have allegedly accused their junior colleagues of giving in to cowardice by following Roberts and punting on controversial rulings.

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