NPR and ABC Declare Conservative Clerk Leaking Roe Draft the ‘Leading Theory’

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The idea behind a leak is to publicize private information through a news outlet, expecting the reaction of the story to work in the leaker’s favor.

And according to NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg, the conservative side of the Supreme Court benefited from the leaked draft that Politico published last week, showing that five justices have privately voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, a 1973 decision that legalized abortion in all 50 states.

Sunday on ABC, Totenberg said the “leading theory” is that a conservative clerk leaked the abortion opinions because they are “afraid that this majority might not hold.” Here’s her argument:

“Leading theory,” according to whom? Totenberg doesn’t say.

While certainly plausible that a conservative clerk leaked the draft, Totenberg is diminishing the reason to believe that the leak came from one of the liberal clerks.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) told Fox News on Sunday that the leak “almost certainly [came from] one of the 12 law clerks that are clerking for the three liberal justices.”

The case that a liberal clerk leaked the draft is that they used the document to encourage the pro-choice crowd to get in the streets and intimidate the conservative justices into flipping.

If this was the plan, the abortion advocates have not disappointed. Over the weekend, protestors gathered outside of the homes of the conservative Supreme Court justices.

In addition, thugs — these are not protestors — vandalized the headquarters of a Wisconsin pro-life group with Molotov cocktails and sprayed “If Abortions Aren’t Safe Then You Aren’t Either” on the wall.

Logic suggests a clerk had calculated that this inevitable reaction from the pro-choicers would bode stronger for the justices who need just one counterpart to flip toward the side of upholding Roe, than for the side that needs the conservative justices to stand firm.

Thus, Nina Totenberg’s “leading theory” that this leak came from a conservative clerk is ambitious at best.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics..

Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.


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