A conservative lawyer who claimed Justice Samuel Alito fled to an undisclosed location now says he cannot verify whether the Supreme Court member is actually in hiding, saying, "It was a rumor, and I never claimed it was anything other than a rumor."

"Last week, I had heard from somewhere — I can't remember where — that Alito had been taken to a secure location for his and his family's protection," author and attorney Ilya Shapiro told the Washington Examiner on Monday after he said on a Fox News program Saturday that he "heard that Justice Alito has been taken to an undisclosed location with his family."

"Maybe there was something on Twitter," Shapiro said, adding, "I was discussing the leak with a lot of people, obviously — I'm a constitutional lawyer. I follow the Supreme Court. That's all that my professional circle was talking about." Shapiro also made similar claims about Alito's rumored whereabouts in a radio interview with Washington's WMAL.


Several conservative media outlets reported that Alito, who authored the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion signaling the upending of federal abortion rights, fled with his family to seek shelter amid weekend protests at several justices' houses. However, the Supreme Court has neither confirmed nor disputed these reports.

Roughly 100 protesters appeared outside Justice Brett Kavanaugh's house, where they carried signs and chanted slogans before walking a half-mile to Chief Justice John Roberts's home, then back to Kavanaugh's home, where police ordered them to leave the area.

Additional protests have been scheduled by the protest group ShutDownDC in front of Alito's house Monday.

Last week, Alito canceled plans for an in-person appearance at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals's judicial conference amid the fallout of the leaked opinion for Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.

The conference notably included a pre-recorded video message featuring Alito despite his absence. A Politico report noted the video was "short and shot in amateurish fashion in front of a white wall," adding that it may suggest a sudden change in Alito's plans.

While the Supreme Court verified the authenticity of the draft leak, it was notably dated Feb. 10 and likely has been subject to some revisions. However, three conservative sources with information pertaining to the high court said the majority of votes supporting the decision remain unchanged, according to the Washington Post.

If the opinion leaked May 2 remains intact when it is finalized by the Supreme Court, it would uphold Mississippi's ban on abortion after 15 weeks of gestation and effectively overturn the 1973 case Roe v. Wade and the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

On Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted that President Joe Biden's administration opposes intimidation tactics against the justices amid reports of vandalism at an anti-abortion center in Wisconsin and the aforesaid protests outside justices' homes.


Shapiro, a prominent legal expert, is presently on administrative leave from Georgetown Law School after a tweet he published in February critical of Biden's pledge to nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court was misread.

The Washington Examiner contacted the Supreme Court Public Information Office for comment.