What is the status of the internal investigation into who leaked the draft opinion of the Dobbs case?
Chief Justice John Roberts opened an internal investigation into who leaked the opinion, calling it “appalling” and an attack on the integrity of the Court that would not succeed. “To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed,” the chief justice said in a rare public statement. “The work of the Court will not be affected in any way.”
Marshal Gail Curley, a former U.S. Army colonel with a long legal history in the military, is conducting the investigation.
But since then, we haven’t heard anything official, and it’s been almost three months. The Court was not commenting on the matter when asked by Fox News. They’re not even saying if any other law enforcement has been called in on the matter.
Now, Fox News has some more information about the matter. They have multiple sources saying that of the 70 people who were thought to have had access to the opinion, the investigation has now narrowed down the potential suspects.
— Shannon Bream (@ShannonBream) July 30, 2022
About three dozen or so law clerks were asked to turn over their cellphones and sign affidavits, presumably saying they didn’t leak the opinion. It’s not clear if all the clerks complied. Since they generally only have a year term, most of those who would have been there during the leak may have moved on to other jobs so they can no longer have their job held over their heads to have them comply with the investigation. Getting anything from them in the future may be difficult with just an internal investigation, and it’s not clear if there is any other investigation going on apart from the internal investigation.
Curley has also asked permanent court staff to turn over their phones and electronic devices, as well. But there’s only so much that Curley can do if, she doesn’t have subpoena power or any real investigative force behind her actions.
Since the leak, the Supreme Court justices have faced protests at their homes and have been under constant threat, with a leftist action organization even offered bounties for tattling when someone spots justice, so the radicals can rush to wherever they are and harass them. Pro-life care centers have been also firebombed, and churches vandalized, by radicals.
The question of who it is and what “side” the person is on has been a question of great interest, with people on both sides of the aisle convinced that it’s the other side–although the conventional wisdom is that it’s a person on the left.
Tom Goldstein of SCOTUSblog also has offered a theory. Observing that the Politico story was written by Josh Gerstein and Alexander Ward, a legal-affairs reporter and national-security reporter, respectively, he speculates that the only logical reason for Ward to have a byline on the SCOTUS story is that the leaker went to him. Dan has pointed out that before working for Politico, Ward was a reporter at Vox, a far-left news outlet, perhaps more reason to be comfortable in the assumption that the leak indeed came from the left.
There still appear to be leaks on-going, as someone leaked to CNN (if one can believe CNN) about Chief Justice John Roberts supposedly wanting to convince people to save Roe.
So, they obviously need to figure out where the leaks are coming from, if they hope to preserve the integrity of the Court–or this may happen again.