Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito addressed the status of the nation’s Supreme Court following widespread outrage over the leaked opinion that would overturn the nationwide abortion rights case.
The justice spoke remotely from the court building to a crowd at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University Thursday night according to Fox News.
The court and justices have seen an increase in security since the protests that have been increasing in frequency and spread to the private residences of the six conservative justices on the court.
“I think it would just be really helpful for all of us to hear, personally, are you all doing OK in these very challenging times?” a questioner asked after Alito’s remarks, The Washington Post reported.
“This is a subject I told myself I wasn’t going to talk about today regarding, you know — given all the circumstances,” Alito replied.
“The court right now, we had our conference this morning, we’re doing our work,” the justice added. “We’re taking new cases, we’re headed toward the end of the term, which is always a frenetic time as we get our opinions out.”
The confrere on Thursday was the first time the court was together following the leak which took place more than a week ago.
Chief Justice John Roberts has opened an investigation into the leak, and Alito has gone over the court’s schedule for finishing its work by the end of June or the beginning of July.
“Roberts confirmed last week that Alito’s draft opinion in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was genuine – although the draft dates back to February, and it does not represent the current or final opinion of the court,” Fox reported. “In the draft, Alito strikes down Roe v. Wade, which struck down state laws across the country, and allows states to again make their own laws on abortion.”
The leak of the first draft of a majority opinion that indicated the possibility that Roe v. Wade could be overturned, caused shockwaves to run through the nation, with conservatives and liberals both experiencing extreme reactions to the idea.
Large groups of protesters have continually demonstrated in front of Alito’s home, which is likely because he wrote the leaked opinion, however justices Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett have also been frequent venues for the protests.
Other targets have included Catholic Churches, which are historically pro-life, and the home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who has a 100% rating with the pro-choice activist group NARAL Pro-Choice America, with the group saying it holds her responsible for not taking more steps to protect abortion rights.