Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has scrapped his plans to attend a judicial conference that was set to begin Thursday, according to a report.
The reported cancellation comes as the justice has been the target of left-wing ire after Politico published a leaked draft ruling from the Supreme Court, authored by Alito, that would overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established the so-called constitutional right to abortion.
“Alito had been set to appear at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ judicial conference, a gathering of judges from the New Orleans-based federal appeals court and the district courts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, a person familiar with the matter said,” according to Reuters.
But he has since canceled, the outlet reported Thursday, citing the same unnamed source.
The Supreme Court also confirmed that Alito would not be appearing at the conference.
“Patricia McCabe, a spokesperson for the Supreme Court, on Wednesday said he was not attending. The spokesperson gave no reason for why Alito, who is the justice assigned to hear emergency appeals from the 5th Circuit, was not going,” Reuters said.
Three days before the conference was set to start, Politico published a draft majority opinion showing that the court had voted to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 ruling that upheld Roe.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Alito wrote in the leaked draft.” “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
“The inescapable conclusion is that a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions,” he added. “The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion.”
Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed that the draft ruling was real, but stressed that it was not a final decision. He also ordered 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,” he said in a statement. “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.”
According to Fox News, the leak has prompted left-wing groups to organize protests outside the homes of the five justices appointed by Republican presidents: Roberts, Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett.