Writer who got leaked Roe opinion: ‘You could see more’

Politics

WASHINGTON (NewsNation) — One of the Politico journalists who received the leaked draft opinion that would go on to overturn Roe v. Wade told NewsNation it may not be the last time a Supreme Court draft opinion is leaked to the press.

Josh Gerstein, a senior legal affairs reporter at Politico, was one of the authors of the bombshell article that sent newsrooms scrambling and concerned activists to the streets.

“The fact that we’ve seen this draft opinion means that it’s possible that in the future, you could see more opinions,” said Gerstein. “That said, it’s a pretty extraordinary event.”

However, Gerstein said it’s rare for the Supreme Court to issue an opinion that directly affects the lives of so many Americans as personally as Roe v. Wade.

“Very few Supreme Court decisions command the level of public attention, political attention, media attention, even legal-world attention of a ruling that could potentially overturn Roe vs. Wade,” he said.

“Maybe if a case of this magnitude came along soon, you might see another draft come out. But I don’t see a court case of this magnitude in the cards in the immediate future,” said Gerstein.

He did not discuss the “source or sources involved in the story.”

Gerstein did say he was surprised the leaked opinion was so similar to the final one issued — at least from Justice Samuel Alito’s perspective.

“I’m a little bit surprised that Justice Alito didn’t do a bit more tweaking to his opinion,” he said. “It’s a very unusual situation that a draft Supreme Court opinion would be sort of like a Wikipedia entry where anyone could jump into it and offer their criticism.”

Gerstein believes Alito didn’t want to indulge the public fallout of the leak and decided to essentially stick to what he’d written before.

“That said, he did add some pretty big chunks to his opinion, dealing with the criticism from the dissenters on the liberal side,” said Gerstein. “And also the alternate approach that Chief Justice John Roberts wanted to take. So he did put new chunks in his opinion that addressed and dismissed their arguments.”

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