UVA Law School Professor Discusses SCOTUS Violation

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) — As the United States Supreme Court reassesses the constitutionality of abortions, UVA School of Law professors are revealing what the violation of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft means for the future.

“A leak of this magnitude never happened,” said Douglas Laycock, professor of constitutional law at UVA.

After Monday night’s initial draft notice of the quashing of Roe v. Wade was made public, calls were made for an investigation to find out who was responsible for the breach of secrecy.

“There are about 80 people, including judges, clerks and employees of the printing office secretary, who have regular access to opinions. All 80 of them are suspects, including the judges,” Laycock said.

He says the leak could cause tension in the court.

“Relations within the court will be more difficult and less trusting for some time, but it’s very difficult to predict how that will play out, especially from the outside,” Laycock said.

If the leaker is caught, they expect a big punishment. Anyone other than a judge would be fired.

Laycock says the presence of a whistleblower puts pressure on the deliberation process, as votes can and often do change as drafts are released.

“A leak in a business case can change millions of dollars in the stock market. And whoever gets the word first benefits from those who didn’t,” Laycock said.

Laycock says opinions are often negotiated and it’s possible to see one with majority support lose a vote or two as the flow continues.

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