Roberts Reportedly Lobbied Other Justices to Leave Roe v. Wade in Place

A report issued this week indicates that Chief Justice John Roberts worked hard on his colleagues on the court to vote for leaving Roe v. Wade in place in resolving the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

The Dobbs decision was released on June 24 and did expressly overrule the 1973 decision, returning the authority to regulate or prohibit abortion to the individual states.

The new report from CNN suggests that the May leak of the draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito made it more difficult if not impossible for Roberts to sway any of the conservative justices to vote with him to uphold the Mississippi statute at issue in Dobbs without reversing Roe completely.

It appears that Roberts lobbied the conservative members until the last moment, to no avail. CNN reported that although Justice Brett Kavanaugh was largely considered to be the most likely conservative member to go along with Roberts in joining the 3 liberals to allow Roe to stand, he was likely never close to doing so.

Roberts and Kavanaugh both worked in the administration of President George H.W. Bush and have known each other since the early 1990s.

Many conservative voters and legal commentators have questioned Roberts’ willingness to overturn statutes or precedents at odds with the plain language of the Constitution. For example, he was the key swing vote that saved Obamacare from being thrown out as an unconstitutional exercise of congressional power.

The report claimed that Roberts tried to convince the newest conservative member of the court, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, to a lesser degree and made no inroads on having her change her position.

Meanwhile, there has been no reporting on whether there has been progress in the investigation into the identity of the person or group responsible for the leak of the draft opinion in the Dobbs case back in May.

Roberts ordered that a full investigation begin less than 24 hours after the unprecedented leak occurred. At the time he called it an “egregious breach” of the security and confidentiality that surrounds the court’s deliberative process.

Now the court will not confirm whether the investigation is still ongoing or if anyone has been identified or disciplined. There have been no reports of what happened that allowed the leak to happen or what steps have been taken to prevent a future leak.

In response to media requests in the last week, Supreme Court spokeswoman Patricia McCabe only responded by saying through email that “The Court has no comment.”