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Republicans rage about breach of draft Roe opinion

Few Republican lawmakers were celebrating Tuesday after the disclosure of a Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade. Instead, they were angrily demanding answers to how the document became public in the first place.

GOP leaders trained their fire on the breach of Supreme Court protocol that led to WEBICNEWS’s publication of the draft opinion by the court’s conservative majority, with only a handful of Republicans cheering the substance of the document itself even though they’ve long opposed Roe.



“I don’t know who did it, their motives,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a member of the Judiciary Committee. Speaking directly to the person or persons responsible, he added: “I don’t care what your motives were. You did a lot of damage to our country and I don’t know if we can repair this, but we’ll try.”

On Tuesday morning, Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the draft’s authenticity — emphasizing that it was not a final opinion — and said he had ordered the marshal of the Supreme Court to investigate the “betrayal of confidence.”

Though little is known about how the draft opinion came to light — or who might benefit most from its disclosure — some Republicans portrayed it as a breach by a progressive clerk or justice hoping to marshal public pressure against the five justices linked to the document. It’s the latest in a string of Republican accusations about the sources of breaches in high-profile matters, including politically charged congressional and criminal probes.

Republicans who have long hoped the court would repeal Roe’s establishment of abortion rights demanded investigations, firings and even prosecutions for the breach.

“We don’t know exactly what the opinion is going to say. And right now my focus is on finding the person who leaked it, making sure they’re investigated, held accountable and had their career, and everything involving [it], done,” said Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.). “That’s all I’m talking about today.”

House Republican leaders similarly said in a statement that the disclosure was “an attempt to severely damage” the court and part of a “clearly coordinated campaign to intimidate and obstruct the justices.” And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who helped shape the makeup of the current court, said “the Department of Justice must pursue criminal charges if applicable.”

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