Justice Alito: Leak of draft opinion in Dobbs made conservative justices ‘targets for assassination’
The New York Times published a leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court’s majority in Citizens United. The opinion was penned by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is retiring at the end of this month.
That’s how the world works, and as Kennedy once said at a town hall gathering of fellow judges, you never know what’s actually going on behind closed doors.
The document appears to be an opinion on the court’s 2010 ruling in the case of Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, which held that corporate money cannot be banned from elections when those who spend that money are not voters.
The document is written in what appears to be Kennedy’s trademark handwriting. He used a pen for this case, which he says is because he can’t type on a phone while holding onto a pen in his hand. The document is from this summer of 2013, a time before Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan had joined the court, so it seems unlikely that Kennedy would have used a pen.
The document has been shared with a small group of reporters — a group I won’t identify because I can’t confirm who leaked the document or whether they’re credible.
The fact that Supreme Court Justices used a pen in a public document — even one with their personal handwriting — is an oddity, and maybe just maybe, it means that the justices were actually thinking.
I reached out to Kennedy for comment on the memo, which I’m waiting for a response.
I emailed Kennedy for comment, and he wrote back quickly that he “wouldn’t comment on this.”
Then, I emailed Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr., who is handling this case for the Obama administration, to ask him if he has anything to say about the document, and he replied that he could not speak to the contents of the document.
That response was in response to a question about the memo in which I asked if the government had an objection to the Times publishing the memo. But even if the memo was an order from the court, and a sign that this administration is in opposition to a corporate-money ban on election spending, it doesn’t mean that the administration is trying to block further disclosure of this memo when