SCOTUS maintains public silence on Dobbs leak investigation


Nearly five months after the Supreme Court suffered one of the worst breaches of confidentiality in its 233-year history, launching a rare inquiry into the inner workings of the high court, the public has been left in the dark.

Two judges hinted during the summer break that they expected an update on the status of the investigation this fall, but no announcement has been made.

Lack of transparency, Roe v. The leak of Dobbs’ draft opinion against Wade sparked protests across the country, as well as the arrest of a man accused of attempted murder after it was picked up near the home of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. .

The court’s public information officer did not want to comment.

Speculation in liberal and conservative circles continues unabated in the information vacuum.

“Identifying the leaker should be a top priority for the First Chief Justice because the leak has endangered the lives of judges and their families and undermined the rule of law,” said Carrie Severino of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network, former Justice Clarence clerk. Thomas “The tactic will surely be repeated in the future if the Dobbs leaker is never found and exposed.”

Politico’s release of the draft opinion in early May rocked the court and left some justices feeling paranoid within the confines of the marble corridors. Protests broke out across the country and spread to some private courts, while critics accused the institution of being irreparably tainted by politics.

However, 24 weeks later, the court has not offered a public update on the results of its investigation. Like so many in the High Court, the secret investigation has been thrown into a whirlwind.

Now a new term has begun, the 8-foot security fences surrounding the courthouse have been dismantled and justices are gearing up for high-profile cases in the December session, including one that could change the future of the LGBTQ rights dispute and election.

To be sure, the judges expressed their surprise at the disclosure.

Chief Justice John Roberts immediately tapped court marshal Gail Curley to look into the leak, which he called “absolutely appalling.” Justice Elena Kagan called it “appalling” and “appalling” and a “flagrant violation of court rules.”

Thomas likened it to “disloyalty” in May at an event sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute in Dallas. He said he left the judge looking over his shoulder for fear of further leaks. Notably, at another event in Atlanta, he called the leak a symptom of a larger problem: an attempt to bully government agencies when they don’t deliver the desired results.

But whether the court has found a perpetrator, is willing to change policies and seek more disclosure is not something the judges have predicted. CNN’s Joan Biskupic exclusively reported in June that secretaries were asked to sign phone records and affidavits, according to three sources.

Meanwhile, public approval ratings for the institution have hit historic lows, with only 47% of US adults saying they have “a great deal” or “some trust” in the judicial branch of the federal government. Supreme Court according to a poll conducted by Gallup last month.

As for the leak, Kagan recently suggested during an appearance in New York that the justices would be updated on the status of the investigation in late fall, and Justice Neil Gorsuch told an audience in Colorado that the report would be coming “soon,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

New protocols are evident at the High Court, with signs outside and an increased security presence when judges go to give speeches. But the court has so far remained silent on the status of a leak investigation.