Speaking at a Heritage Foundation event, Alito said the release of his draft opinion made the justices presumed to be in the majority “targets for assassination because it gave people a rational reason to think they could prevent that from happening by killing one of us.”
The draft from Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was published by POLITICO on May 2.
“It was a grave betrayal of trust by somebody,” Alito, who authored both the draft and the final majority opinion, told the Heritage Foundation’s John G. Malcolm.
The draft proved substantially similar to the final majority opinion that was issued in June. That ruling overturned the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, which had established a right to abortion throughout the country.
“It certainly changed the atmosphere at the court,” Alito said of the unauthorized disclosure of the draft.