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Mississippi leaders react to leaked...

Mississippi leaders react to leaked draft of SCOTUS opinion in Mississippi’s Dobbs case

By: Anne Summerhays - May 4, 2022

Governor Reeves says countless lives can be saved if opinion stands.

On Monday, a draft of the U.S. Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was leaked and published by Politico.  The draft opinion, authored by Justice Samuel Alito, stated that, “Roe and Casey must be overruled,” adding, “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

Tuesday morning, the Supreme Court confirmed the authenticity of the draft opinion in saying though it is authentic, it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts also directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak.

“To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed. The work of the Court will not be affected in any way,” Chief Justice Roberts said.

Robert said the Court is blessed to have a workforce – permanent employees and law clerks alike – who are intensely loyal to the institution and dedicated to the rule of law.

“Court employees have an exemplary and important tradition of respecting the confidentiality of the judicial process and upholding the trust of the Court. This was a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here,” Roberts continued.

In response to the leaked draft opinion, many Mississippi elected leaders released statements on the matter.

Following an interview with Martha MacCallum on Fox News on Tuesday, Attorney General Lynn Fitch said, “We’ll respect the process and wait for the official SCOTUS opinion. It is the only one that matters.”

Speaker of the House Philip Gunn said that while he condemns the leak, he prays the Supreme Court will stand up for the sanctity of life and overturn Roe.

“MS House Republicans led to protect the unborn with the passage of HB1510, now on review in Dobbs. Their efforts put us in a position to protect unborn lives. While I condemn the leak, I pray the Supreme Court will stand up for the sanctity of life and overturn Roe,” Speaker Gunn said on Twitter.

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said that everyone is rightly outraged over the alleged leak in the Mississippi abortion case and encourages everyone to pray for wisdom and courage for the Supreme Court.

“Countless lives can be saved,” Reeves tweeted.

Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann said he is very hopeful Mississippi will prevail in this case.

“This important decision, however, must not be tainted by unethical/criminal leaks. Any effort to use political pressure to thwart the judicial branch of our government is unacceptable and dangerous,” Hosemann said.

About the Author(s)
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Anne Summerhays

Anne Summerhays is a recent graduate of Millsaps College where she majored in Political Science, with minors in Sociology and American Studies. In 2021, she joined Y’all Politics as a Capitol Correspondent. Prior to making that move, she interned for a congressional office in Washington, D.C. and a multi-state government relations and public affairs firm in Jackson, Mississippi. While at Millsaps, Summerhays received a Legislative Fellowship with the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi where she worked with an active member of the Mississippi Legislature for the length of session. She has quickly established trust in the Capitol as a fair, honest, and hardworking young reporter. Her background in political science helps her cut through the noise to find and explain the truth. Email Anne: