Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has offered a new perspective on whether the individual who leaked a draft opinion that sought to overturn abortion precedents Roe V. Wade and Planned Parenthood V. Casey could be prosecuted for doing so.
Paul said Thursday that he thinks the leaker should be prosecuted for “inciting violence” because of the attempt on Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s life last week as well as protests at justices’ homes.
“You know, I think the person who leaked the Supreme Court document is inciting this violence,” he said during an interview with an Alabama radio station. “It’s illegal what they did. It’s against their contract. It’s against the bar oath. So, whoever leaked this document should be prosecuted. They should be disbarred, and they should be excused from being able to practice law.”
He continued, “This is a serious breach, and not only because you’re not supposed to do it — because it is now threatening the lives of justices. There are crowds gathered outside the houses of all the justices. Someone has released their addresses, which the left just thinks this is all well and good and funny to release the addresses of either politicians or of justices.”
Paul criticized President Joe Biden for not condemning the protests and said the White House should have a “zero-tolerance” policy on protests at the homes of justices.
“We should have a zero-tolerance of this,” Paul said. “The White House has still not condemned the huge crowds outside of their houses. The First Amendment allows you to protest. You can stand in front of the Supreme Court all day and all night if you want. You can hold signs up. You can yell. You can scream. But you do not have a right to be in someone’s neighborhood, outside their house yelling and screaming all night.”
He cited the risks of there being just one violent person in the crowd who might try to harm a justice or one of their family members.
“The thing is, the more that gather out there, the more likely that some crazy person is going to be in the middle of that crowd, not be spotted who has come there armed to kill,” he pointed out. “We’ve had one attempt already, and so I’m for prosecuting the person at the Supreme Court who leaked this to the fullest extent of the law.”
Legal experts had previously said that the leaker probably did not violate any actual laws in releasing the opinion’s draft form before it was finalized and formally announced, but that if caught, they would likely be disbarred and have their career destroyed.
Never in the court’s history has a complete opinion been leaked.
It is presumed that the leaker wanted to influence the final opinion by causing such an uproar, but reports from sources inside the court have seemed to say that the uproar has only solidified the justices’ resolve.
To back down now would be a perversion of the justice system that no one on the court wants to see happen.