Utah Sen. Mike Lee calls Roe v. Wade draft leak ‘unprecedented’

May 3, 2022, 7:20 PM | Updated: 8:25 pm

Utah Senator Mike Lee explains why the leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court is unprecedented...

Utah Senator Mike Lee explains why the leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court is unprecedented. (KSL TV)


SALT LAKE CITY — Reaction and protests continued to dominate discussion Tuesday after a draft opinion from the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked Monday.

There are strong opinions on both sides of the abortion debate, but to have them focused on this part of the process just does not happen.

Utah Sen. Mike Lee said part of his concern is people are now applying pressure on justices about their stance before an actual vote.

“It’s completely unprecedented,” Lee said. “I can’t think of a single example of this happening ever.”

Lee previously clerked under Justice Alito who wrote the leaked document. He said opinions like the one leaked are typically kept under tight security until the court is ready to release a decision.

“The Supreme Court is not bent on secrecy. It’s bent on thoroughness and it wants to make sure that its process is complete before it releases anything to the public, lest they create confusion for people subject to those opinions.”

The documents are kept on servers that are not connected to the internet and paper copies aren’t allowed to leave chambers. They are shredded and burned afterward.

“So, when this opinion leaked, something went terribly wrong. And the people of the Court and the United States were not served by the leak,” Lee said.

He explained pressure can be applied to the court now making it more like a political body.

He said it’s hard to know the exact intentions of whoever made the leak.

“If they wanted to embarrass, threaten, intimidate, and harass any justice who might be considering signing on to it, this is how they might go about that,” Lee said.

Lee called Alito’s decision fantastic.

“This was a win for the Constitution. The reason I say that is because 48 years ago in Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court of the United States took a power that was not federal, took that power away from the states,” he explained.

Something else that concerned Lee is that the opinion could be used as an argument for stacking the court, an effort to increase the number of Justices.

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Utah Sen. Mike Lee calls Roe v. Wade draft leak ‘unprecedented’