Well, here we are. More than 24 hours after the leak of the now already infamous Alito first draft majority decision overturning Roe v Wade. And already the rumors and theories are spreading hot and thick.
Most pundits and commentators are putting forward that the document must have been leaked by someone in the court who was appalled by the Alito ruling, in order to rally popular protest to the ruling, with the hope that the public pressure would convince at least one justice to change their mind before the final ruling is released.
But on All In with Chris Hayes tonight, Hayes posed an alternate theory that I found both fascinating, as well as compelling. The early working hypothesis is that a disgruntled person leaked the draft ruling in order to turn public pressure against it, and put pressure on the justices to change their mind(s).
But as Chris Hayes posited it tonight, what if the case was exactly the opposite? After all, you have to remember that this was only a first draft, and it spoke of a 5-4 majority decision. Which means the three ultra conservative rockheads, Alito, Thomas, and Gorsuch, joined by Kavanaugh and Barrett.
But this is only the first draft. Which means that there have almost certainly been more conferences, wrangling over the wording and extent of the ruling, all kinds of shit. But what if, in the course of all of those conferences and negotiations, one of more of that five member majority started to falter, thinking that the Alito ruling went too far?
What if a sitting conservative justice, or a conservative court clerk, or aide or staff member leaked the draft, in order to pressure any wavering justices back into line? The basic theory being, There ! The decision is out there now. So quit whining, suck it up, and take the final vote!
Granted, this is all nothing but speculation. But when it’s put like that, I can easily see how somebody who has spent their whole life striving to overturn Roe would take that step if they thought that one or more conservative members were considering changing their vote. Just something to think about.