All nine Supreme Court justices are set to meet for the first time since last week’s draft opinion leak on abortion. The draft opinion for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization indicated the court was ready to overturn the landmark abortion cases Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
Thursday’s meeting will include only the nine justices, as staffers and clerks will not be there. The justices plan to discuss pending petitions and outstanding cases and are likely to address the leak and ensuing investigation as well. The most junior of the justices, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, is responsible for taking notes.
Thursday’s meeting comes as justice security is still a concern for some following protests outside justices’ homes in recent days. The Justice Department announced Wednesday it would enhance security measures ahead of the official release of the opinion.
“Attorney General Garland continues to be briefed on security matters related to the Supreme Court and Supreme Court Justices,” Justice Department spokesperson Anthony Coley said in a statement. “The Attorney General directed the U.S. Marshals Service to help ensure the Justices’ safety by providing additional support to the Marshal of the Supreme Court and Supreme Court Police.”
As the Supreme Court is set to meet to discuss the abortion opinion leak, Congress is having varied success in trying to regulate the court, as well as abortion access itself. In perhaps the largest story Wednesday, the Senate turned back an effort to end debate Wednesday on a procedural motion concerning the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2022. The vote–51 opposed, 49 in favor–effectively killed the bill, which would legalize abortion around the country.
In a lesser-known story from Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee advanced a bill requiring the Supreme Court to adopt an ethics code and strengthen rules for justices and other federal judges to recuse themselves from cases when they have conflicts of interest. The bill follows calls for Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from cases involving the Jan. 6 Capitol riots after text messages showed his wife messaged White House staffers about overturning the results of the 2020 presidential election.