The exclusive news story, which published May 3, immediately set the Left on fire over the likelihood the right-leaning high court planned to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 abortion ruling that is considered sacred to abortion supporters.
One day later after the story published, when a mob was predictably gathering to protest, The Hill reported law enforcement authorities had erected seven-foot-tall fencing around the court building and closed off two nearby streets.
But the threats and violence were, in reality, just getting started.
This week, in a sit-down interview at The Heritage Foundation, Justice Samuel Alito called the leak draft – which he wrote – a “shock” because it had never happened in the history of the court. It also changed the “atmosphere” at the court during the term, he said.
“The leak also made those of us who were thought to be in the majority, in support of overruling Roe and Casey, targets for assassination,” Alito said, “because it gave people a rational reason to think they could prevent that from happening by killing one of us.”
Alito acknowledged he was referring to the arrest of Nicholas Roske, who is charged with attempted murder. On June 8, an Uber driver dropped off Roske near the home of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Armed with two handguns, ammunition, and duct tape, the 26-year-old had traveled from California with a plan to kidnap the justice and kill him but called police before he acted.
John Malcolm, a Heritage vice president at the organization’s Institute for Constitutional Government, tells AFN that abortion supporters concluded from the leaked opinion that killing just one right-leaning justice could stop the court from overturning Roe.
“So [Alito] was just pointing out really something that was obvious, which is that somebody could decide, if they were a pro-abortion zealot and inclined to violence,” Malcolm says, “that this put a target on the backs of the justices who ultimately joined the Dobbs majority opinion."
Pelosi: 'No one is in danger'
From a legal standpoint, the majority opinion that was announced June 24 found the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee a right to abortion and simply kicked the abortion issue back to the states. But the Far Left, which routinely criticizes other constitutional rights, howled that democracy was in danger.
"Yesterday (the court said) the states can cannot make laws governing the constitutional right to bear arms," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. "And today, they're saying the exact reverse, that the states can overturn a constitutional right (what was) for 50 years a constitutional right."
In the same speech, Pelosi said "radical Republicans are charging ahead with their radical crusade to criminalize health freedom."
Despite the threat against Kavanaugh, Pelosi amazingly dismissed the issue of security for the justices when she was holding up a Senate-passed bill to beef up their security.
"He's protected," Pelosi snapped at a reporter in early June. "The justices are protected."
She also insisted "no one is in danger" while the House debated the language of the bill, which by then had been held up by Pelosi for weeks.
After top Democrats used the Dobbs ruling to fire up their base over the summer, polls predict Pelosi is expected to lose her powerful House Speaker post after Election Day.
By the two-week mark, after the Politico story published, before Roske traveled across the country to kill Kavanaugh, the Department of Homeland Security said it was investigating more than 25 online posts that it considered credible threats, such as burning down the court building and murdering the justices.
The homes of the justices were targeted by angry protesters over the summer, too, even though a federal law bans such protests because the protests are considered a form of unlaw intimidation. Despite the law, the abortion-supporting U.S. Justice Department did not intervene and stop them.