When the Supreme Court's preliminary ruling overturning Roe v. Wade leaked, conservatives made a big fuss of claiming it must have been a liberal staffer trying to stop it. But even then it made more sense as a device to lock justices into decisions they hadn't yet fully committed to. And now Rolling Stone reports that Chief Justice Roberts was indeed trying to convince Justice Brett Kavanaugh to save Roe, an effort supposedly derailed by the leak. In the end, the court ruled 6-3 in the case, with Roberts signing on to the majority verdict in Dobbs—a 15-week ban—while making clear he would not agree to overturn Roe entirely.
Roberts, who would ultimately vote to uphold the Mississippi law disputed under Dobbs but filed a seperate concurrence disagreeing with the majority decision to strike down Roe, has had success persuading Kavanaugh to dissent from the conservative bloc in the past, most notably his decision to side with the liberal justices in upholding the Affordable Care Act. Those with knowledge of the situation tell CNN that Roberts already faced an uphill battle in convincing Kavanaugh to vote in favor of abortion rights even before the leak: Kavanaugh had previously indicated his desire to overturn Roe and had voted against it in a private justices' conference.
Yes, I don't really buy it. Kavanaugh was put on the court to kill Roe, after all.