CNN Claims Roberts Lobbied Kavanaugh to Keep Roe, But Kavanaugh Said No

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jul 26, 2022   |   3:55PM   |   Washington, DC

A new CNN report exposes the inner turmoil of the U.S. Supreme Court this spring and the reportedly unsuccessful efforts by Chief Justice John Roberts to sway the court against its historic decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Roberts, a Republican appointee, did not want the high court to completely overturn Roe. In a separate opinion from the majority, Roberts said he would have allowed states to restrict abortions more strongly after the first trimester, but he disagreed with ending the 1973 abortion ruling altogether.

Sources close to the high court told CNN that Roberts tried to persuade Justices Amy Coney Barrett and especially Brett Kavanaugh to join him. If either one of them had caved, the court would not have had enough votes to overturn Roe, but they were not swayed.

On June 24, the Supreme Court overturned Roe in the historic Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health ruling. Now, states are allowed to protect unborn babies from abortion again, and more than a dozen already have done so.

Behind the scenes, however, sources told CNN that Roberts was trying to change the outcome “to the bitter end.”

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According to the report:

Multiple sources told CNN that Roberts’ overtures this spring, particularly to Kavanaugh, raised fears among conservatives and hope among liberals that the chief could change the outcome in the most closely watched case in decades. Once the draft was published by Politico, conservatives pressed their colleagues to try to hasten release of the final decision, lest anything suddenly threaten their majority.

Roberts’ persuasive efforts, difficult even from the start, were thwarted by the sudden public nature of the state of play. He can usually work in private, seeking and offering concessions, without anyone beyond the court knowing how he or other individual justices have voted or what they may be writing.

That changed in late April when the justices learned that someone had leaked a draft ruling to Politico, which was about to publish it, the report continues.

The individual or people who leaked the draft ruling still have not been found, and there is no word from the court about whether its investigation is on-going, according to the AP.

But the May leak “shattered the usual secrecy of negotiations and likely locked in votes, if they were not already solid,” CNN reports. “To the extent that liberals had hoped that the original vote by conservatives would change, that hope faded.”

Kavanaugh, Barrett and the other justices apparently felt strong in their convictions about overturning Roe – so strongly that they would not be persuaded by the chief justice or threats to their lives and families.

Hot Air blogger Allahpundit pointed out, “As far as [CNN’s] sources can tell, Kavanaugh’s vote was never really in play. Roberts gave it his best shot but it was ‘unlikely’ that Kav ever got close to flipping.”

Because of the justices’ integrity in reversing the horrific Roe ruling, state laws already are saving thousands of unborn babies from abortions. The Charlotte Lozier Institute estimates more than 110,000 unborn babies are being saved from abortion as a result of the pro-life laws currently in place. And more states are expected to enact laws to protect unborn babies in the coming weeks, including Wyoming and Indiana.