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SCOTUS Justice Alito Cancels Conference Appearance After Roe Draft Leak

SCOTUS Justice Alito Cancels Conference Appearance After Roe Draft Leak

Reuters reported that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has canceled an appearance at a judicial conference set to begin on Thursday after a draft decision he wrote was leaked which indicated the high court would overturn its landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that guaranteed the right to abortion nationwide.

Justice Alito had been set to appear at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ judicial conference, a gathering of judges from the New Orleans-based federal appeals court and the district courts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 23: Associate Justice Samuel Alito sits during a group photo of the Justices at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on April 23, 2021. (Photo by Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images)

U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the draft’s authenticity on Tuesday but emphasized it was not final, and said the court will investigate the leak, which he called a “betrayal.”

Both Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Clarence Thomas were slated to speak separately on Thursday and Friday at the 11th Circuit’s judicial conference in Atlanta, according to the event’s program, but it was unclear at press time if they would still attend.

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Some SCOTUS-watchers have suggested Roberts leaked the memo himself, as he and Alito have drifted apart in both their friendship and ideologies over the years.

Patricia McCabe, a spokesperson for the Supreme Court, said on Wednesday that Justice Alito would not be attending the conference. McCabe gave no reason why Justice Alito was not going, as he is the justice assigned to hear emergency appeals from the 5th Circuit.

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