It seems that there is an urgency to find the leaker of the Roe v Wade preliminary ruling. Chief Justice John Roberts held a meeting with all of the law clerks in an effort to get one of them to admit to the leak. They will be going through the phone records and I assume their emails as well. They are turning up the heat for the same reason that many states are enacting tougher voting laws.
They both do not want to see the same thing repeated and the only way to do that is to make sure someone or someones pay for their crimes. It’s the only way to make sure the crime is not repeated. Some of the law clerks have lawyered up as a precaution, however, one of them really needs a really good one.
Leaking the preliminary report can really be a career decision if the culprit is found. They would likely have their license suspended for a lengthy amount of time. Add to that the fact that the leak will be available to anyone considering hiring that man or woman.
Josh Blackman pointed out at Reason:
“I think an attorney, in the course of representation, could decide to speak to the press to promote his client’s interests. But there is an open question: does the attorney-client privilege survive in light of a duty of confidentiality to the Court? That is, could a clerk tell her attorney about some internal information in order to prepare a legal strategy? Could the Chief fire a clerk who confides in this lawyer?”
The investigation is headed by the Supreme Court marshal, Colonel Gail Curley, who is “in some ways constrained in her investigation by her position, which was created just after the Civil War, in 1867,” AP noted.
“Experts say leaking the draft opinion likely wasn’t a crime, and Curley’s investigative tools are limited,” AP continued. “She could theoretically hire an outside law firm to assist, and in other judicial records cases the FBI has been called in. But it isn’t clear if she or others have the power to issue subpoenas to get material from journalists or the fewer than 100 people in the court — including justices — with access to a draft opinion.”
After the leak of the draft opinion on May 3, Chief Justice John Roberts harshly criticized the leak, calling it “a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here,” adding that he had “directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak.”