It was not immediately clear who had leaked the opinion, and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts initiated an investigation into who was responsible. According to Justice Neil Gorsuch, his or her identity may soon be revealed.
Gorsuch is “looking forward” to the investigators’ report
Fox News reported that Gorsuch made the bombshell claim while speaking to a group of lawyers and judges at the 10th Circuit Judicial Conference on Thursday.
“The chief justice appointed an internal committee to oversee the investigation,” Gorsuch explained, adding, “That committee has been busy, and we’re looking forward to their report, I hope, soon.”
Fox News cited unnamed sources as saying that while roughly 70 individuals are believed to have had access to the draft opinion, the investigation has managed to narrow the list of potential suspects.
“Justices circulate draft opinions internally as a routine and essential part of the Court’s confidential deliberative work,” it read.
“Although the document described in yesterday’s reports is authentic, it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case,” the statement continued.
Chief justice: “This was a singular and egregious breach”
Fox News noted that Roberts spoke up as well, saying, “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 work of the Court will not be affected in any way.”
“We at the Court are blessed to have a workforce – permanent employees and law clerks alike – intensely loyal to the institution and dedicated to the rule of law,” he added.
“Court employees have an exemplary and important tradition of respecting the confidentiality of the judicial process and upholding the trust of the Court,” the chief justice continued.
“This was a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here.”