Before the Supreme court of the United States handed down its ruling on the doomed law regarding abortions, there was an unprecedented leak of the draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito on the matter.
The draft opinion was leaked to Politico.
“The draft opinion is a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and a subsequent 1992 decision – Planned Parenthood v. Casey – that largely maintained the right,” the outlet reported.
the draft by Alito pointed out the flaw in the original ruling and sought to right the ruling.
In the “Opinion of the Court,” Alito wrote: “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.”
At the time, the nation’s highest court admitted that a “copy of a draft opinion in a pending case” was made public, but added that it did “not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.”
The leak to the public before the ruling was complete caused confusion and outcry.
Such a leak of SCOTUS deliberations had not happened before.
Some wanted to know immediately who had leaked information form the highest court in the land, and some seemed to think, strangely, that the leaker should not be revealed.
“Former law clerks at the high court from both sides of the aisle were uniformly stunned when Justice Samuel L. Alito Jr.’s draft dropped online, but they differ broadly on whether the court should identify the culprit and if the leaker needs to be punished to counter future disclosures of controversial cases,” The Washington Times reported.
“And despite the magnitude of the breach of high court etiquette and procedure, some think the mystery may never be cracked — or at least revealed to outsiders,” the report added.
And now, nearly four months after the leak, the identity of the leaker is still unknown.
“If they haven’t identified the person by now, they aren’t going to make it public. I don’t think the public will find out,” said Carolyn Shapiro, a former clerk for retired Justice Stephen G. Breyer.
One Republican lawmaker recently speculated that the Supreme Court’s liberal-leaning justices are likely aware of who the leaker is.
Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana said he believed that at least some of the justices know the leaker’s identity.
“We all could probably agree that the justices that were appointed by Democrat presidents know who the leaker was,” he said. “What bothers me, it’s not only the undermining that it did of the institution and the trust factor that these folks have with each other,” it’s that now that the trust is broken, “it’s very difficult to restore it.”
Rosendale said he believes the person or persons who released the information will be revealed; that it may take time, however.
“There could be more people involved, and those people could go all the way to the top,” he said. “Don’t eliminate the judges because you know people, so there’s no way that would happen. No way. Think about it. Michael Sussmann is on trial right now for Russiagate. That happened six years ago. We’re only getting answers right now. I hope it doesn’t take another six years to get answers to what happened at the Supreme Court.”
Now it seems there is movement in the investigation toward the discovery of the leaker or leakers.
Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch has given a potential timeline for when the identity of the person or persons who leaked the ‘Roe’ preliminary draft opinion in May could be revealed.
In his first remarks since the leak of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Gorsuch said he hopes the investigation into the leak will soon be completed.
Gorsuch gave his views during a discussion with lawyers and judges in Colorado Springs Thursday at the 10th Circuit Judicial Conference. In June, the Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion in all states.
“The chief justice appointed an internal committee to oversee the investigation,” Gorsuch said. “That committee has been busy, and we’re looking forward to their report, I hope, soon.”
The Wall Street Journal first reported the comments, and Fox News added that the outlet confirmed they were accurate, Conservative Brief reports.
Fox News added that the investigation has now narrowed the field of suspects:
Chief Justice John Roberts ordered the Court’s marshal to conduct an internal investigation, but there have been few updates, and it is not clear whether the court’s leak report will be made public.
Multiple sources previously told Fox News that the investigation into the approximately 70 individuals in the court who may have had access to the draft opinion has been narrowed.
Sources say much of the initial focus was on the three dozen or so law clerks, who work directly with the justices on their caseload.