The Volokh Conspiracy

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Supreme Court

Justice Kennedy: Draft Opinion Leak Was "Cowardly, Corrupt, Contemptuous Act."

The former Associate Justice joins those condemning the leak of a draft opinion.


Former Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy condemned the leak of a draft opinion  in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization that would over turn Roe v. Wade as "cowardly, corrupt, contemptuous act." Justice Kennedy's remarks were made at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's  300th Anniversary Symposium and were reported by Bloomberg News.

From the report:

The leak from the usually secretive institution "hurt" the court because the justices must be able to debate candidly in coming to their conclusions, said Kennedy, who retired in 2018 after 30 years on the court.

The justices are "so proud that our independence consists of the tradition of talking just among ourselves to have reasons why we decide the case," he said.

Kennedy urged judges across the nation to recommit to "rational, thoughtful discourse."

"The law learns from bad acts," Kennedy said.

Video of the remarks is available here.