Fox News host Laura Ingraham said on her show “Ingraham Angle” on Monday that Supreme Court clerks are sworn to secrecy and expected to maintain confidentiality when they work for one of the justices.
“[T]he inviolable deal that you strike when you accept that clerkship, which is the most coveted thing you can have as a young lawyer, is that you swear confidentiality regarding everything you see and everything you hear, and especially the internal deliberations of the court, especially that. … Chief Justice Rehnquist, in our orientation session at the court, said to all of us…if you leak anything from this court, you can kiss your legal career bye-bye, done,” she related to her viewers.
In light of these expectations, she said, the leaker should be discovered and disbarred immediately.
“Everyone in that building understood that was a line that could never be crossed,” she continued. “And it is a sad commentary that someone in that building took it upon himself or herself to totally usurp the role of the justices and hijack the court’s deliberative process.”
Chief Justice John Roberts said Tuesday that the leak was authentic but that it was not a final decision yet. He demanded that the marshal of the court investigate the leak to find its source.
Protests erupted in several large cities on Monday night and Tuesday, including Atlanta, New York City, and Washington, D.C. where barricades were quickly erected around the Supreme Court building.
Prominent pro-choice Democrats including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA) and Vice President Kamala Harris decried the draft opinion, with Warren calling for people to rise up and stand for the right to take unborn lives.
“No matter what you think about this outcome, the leak itself represents a shocking and unprecedented breach of the court’s confidentiality, which is sacrosanct. And it’s key to the court’s ability, on any issue, to engage in the give and take and all the decision-making that’s required to reach these decisions based on legal principles, based on the Constitution, not because of political pressure,” she concluded.
“Do anything in their power”
Ingraham blasted Democrats for stooping to the lowest of the low in order to disrupt the court’s process and try to galvanize public opinion against the court’s majority.
“Once again, it looks like the left will just smash an established government process to get their way, do anything in their power to stop a principled, conservative majority from issuing a ruling on a pending case,” she said.
But she said the leaker would be “disappointed,” and that she didn’t think the leaking would work to change the opinion at all.
In all likelihood, the tactic may make the court’s conservatives even more determined to rule in the way they think is right, rather than bowing to public pressure from a vocal minority.