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(Reuters) – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has canceled an appearance at a judicial conference that was set to begin on Thursday after a draft decision he wrote indicating the high court would overturn its landmark Roe v. Wade in 1973 that guaranteed the right to abortion throughout the country. leaked
Alito was scheduled to appear at the judicial conference of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, a meeting of judges from the New Orleans-based federal appeals court and the district courts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, said a person familiar with the matter.
But he has since canceled, the person said, and Supreme Court spokeswoman Patricia McCabe said Wednesday she would not attend. The spokesman gave no reason why Alito, who is the judge assigned to hear emergency appeals from the 5th Circuit, was not going.
Alito, a member of the court’s 6-3 conservative majority, wrote the draft opinion dated February and published by Politico on Monday.
The unprecedented high court leak sent shockwaves through the United States. US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the draft on Tuesday, but stressed it was not final and said the court would investigate the leak, which he called “treason.”
The Circuit Executive’s Office for the Fifth Circuit declined to confirm that its conference would take place this week, citing security, but the American Inns of Court law society in a news release last week detailed the date and location.
Roberts and Judge Clarence Thomas were scheduled to speak separately Thursday and Friday at the 11th Circuit court conference in Atlanta. according to a program of events.
It was unclear if they would continue to attend. McCabe referred questions about his scheduled appearances to the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday night.
The in-person circuit conferences are among the first to be held since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020. Similar events are planned this year on the 2nd, 6th, and 9th circuits. and 10th and in the Federal Circuit focused on patents.
These conferences are often a cross between a business meeting and a continuing legal education conference and provide an opportunity for judges to meet and mingle.
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