Justices on the Supreme Court are preparing to meet on Thursday for their first conference amid fallout from the leaked draft opinion that, if published, would erode abortion access in roughly half of the nation.
The leaked draft opinion, authored by Justice Samuel Alito, incited protests outside the high court and throughout the nation on May 2 and in the succeeding days. Since then, protesters organized outside Alito's house on Monday and amassed outside the homes of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh over the weekend.
“There are concerns for the integrity of the institution," one person close to the court said in a statement to Politico on Wednesday. “The views are uniform," the source added, noting that both Republican-appointed and Democratic-appointed justices are "as shocked as anyone."
SUPREME COURT MAJORITY STILL ON TRACK TO OVERTURN ROE DESPITE JOHN ROBERTS
Justices will return to the court on Thursday after its exterior has undergone a striking change in response to protests. On May 4, tall, unscalable fences were erected around the Supreme Court.
Additionally, a group called Ruth Sent Us, which protested outside the homes of Kavanaugh and Roberts over the weekend, has planned more protests outside the homes of all six Republican-appointed justices on Wednesday.
In the draft ruling over the Mississippi abortion case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, it is unclear whether Roberts, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, will join the dissent of the three Democratic-appointed justices. So far, no other drafts or dissents have circulated out of the high court since the leak of the draft, dated Feb. 10, last week.
Prior to the leak, sources had informed CNN that Roberts was opposed to upending the precedent established in the 1973 case of Roe v. Wade but was open to the possibility of upholding the disputed law in Mississippi that places limits on abortion but ultimately keeps intact Roe and the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
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A five-vote majority needed in the Supreme Court to overturn the two key precedents on abortion rights remains on track to include the support of Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett, and Kavanaugh, according to three conservative sources close to the court.
Last week, Roberts called for an investigation into the leak after the high court confirmed the authenticity of the draft. The chief justice decried the leak as a "betrayal" designed to "undermine the integrity" of the court.