Last May when the Supreme Court draft opinion in the Dobbs V. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case was leaked to the public, no one was more outraged than the justices on the court itself.
But it has been six months since an investigation into the leak was started, and thus far it seems that no progress has been made in discovering the identity of the leaker.
The clerks who worked for the court have long since moved on, which experts suggested would make any investigation nearly impossible.
But justices said as recently as September that they hoped a report would be coming “soon.” It has not happened.
Inviting more leaks
Above the Law suggested last week that the outrage was fake and that it is even possible that the court knew where the leak came from, but wasn’t interested in outing that person.
This is pure speculation because there really is no available information about the investigation, but it’s understandable that the public would have skepticism that no progress has been made.
The problem is, if the investigation is just dropped, there will be more leaks, and the court’s credibility as a non-partisan entity will be further damaged.
“Identifying the leaker should be a top priority for the Chief Justice as the leak has endangered the lives of the justices and their families and undermined the rule of law,” Carrie Severino of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network, a former clerk of Justice Clarence Thomas, said. “The tactic will surely be repeated in the future if the Dobbs leaker is never found and revealed.”
It may be impossible at this point to figure out what happened and who was responsible, however.
Who done it?
Joe Patrice, who authored the Above the Law piece, assumed that the leak came from the right, but others have said it probably came from the left, in order to use public outrage and protests to get conservative justices to change their minds about overturning Roe V. Wade.
The exact opposite happened, and there were very few changes between the draft and the final opinion.
But the left continues to be unable to accept the conservative makeup of the court, which could translate to more leaks and protests going forward when a conservative opinion comes out.