In May 2022, a draft US Supreme Court opinion in the case of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization was leaked to the political publication Politico. The draft opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, forecast that a majority of justices would overturn Roe v Wade.
The shocking leak, unprecedented in the history of the Supreme Court, produced its intended result – spurring radical pro-abortion activists to go into a frenzy, spawning demonstrations and protests including in front of the homes of conservative justices. Such demonstrations are illegal under federal law, but Democrats, including President Joe Biden, actively encouraged them.
The radicals hoped to pressure one of the justices to change his or her vote in the case. Failing that, one activist concocted an alternative plan: assassinating Justice Brett Kavanaugh in order to prevent a majority of justices from forming to overturn Roe.
Following the leak, Chief Justice John Roberts assigned the Supreme Court’s Marshal to conduct an investigation to identify the leaker. A report of her findings was finally issued this week and to the great disappointment of those who believe in the rule of law, the Supreme Court Marshal was unable to identify the leaker.
One reason for that may be that, according to multiple media sources, the Marshal did not investigate whether one of the Supreme Court justices themselves was the source of the leak.
“The investigation focused on Court personnel — temporary (law clerks) and permanent employees — who had or may have had access to the draft opinion during the period from the initial circulation until the publication,” the report said.
Nearly 100 personnel were interviewed and had their court-issued electronic devices examined but they apparently did not include any of the justices. If the Supreme Court’s personnel, including law clerks, were not the source of the leak, who other than a justice could have been the source?
This author and many conservative observers of this unprecedented violation of Supreme Court rules and precedent have long wondered if the leaker was one of the justices in the minority of the Dobbs decision, with Justices Sonja Sotomayor and Elena Kagan being the primary suspects. This is because they are both hard-core leftists who have demonstrated no hesitancy to bend the law to fit their ideology.
Others on the left suggest that the leaker may have been one of the conservative justices with the goal of solidifying their 5-4 majority by making it harder for one of the justices in the majority to change positions before the decision was issued. This is what apparently occurred in 1992 when one or more conservative justices thought to be ready to overturn Roe changed positions before the decision was issued.
As of now, we apparently will never know who leaked this draft Dobbs opinion, thus destabilizing the Supreme Court and risking the lives of conservative justices. “The leak was no mere misguided attempt at protest,” the report said. “It was a grave assault on the judicial process.”
This grave assault will apparently go unpunished, and thus becomes the latest example where those in the upper echelons of government legal circles avoid being held to account for their actions.
Supreme Court officials, perhaps even the justices themselves, now join top intelligence officials, FBI leaders and Department of Justice officials in a disgraceful club of those at the highest levels of the government’s legal and law enforcement institutions who swear an oath to conduct their work impartially and according to the constitution, but instead act to advance their own interests and ideology.
Such actions destabilize not just the Supreme Court, but the American people’s confidence in the rule of law and in government itself.