Supreme Court deliberations are supposed to be secret. So how did a draft abortion opinion leak?

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  • Experts could not recall a similar case of a draft opinion leaking into public view.
  • One expert suggested “heads must roll” after a thorough investigation.
  • Another court-watcher likened the reported leak to the release of the Pentagon Papers in the early 1970s.

WASHINGTON – What happens behind the curtains at the Supreme Court is supposed to be secret.

But that tradition – and the principle of justices being able to deliberate in private – was upended Monday when Politico published what it said is a draft opinion it obtained in one of the most significant cases before the nation’s highest court in decades. That opinion showed that the court may overturn its landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. 

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