SCOTUS Roe Leak Probe Zeroes In On Clerks

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts speaks at the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC, on September 24, 2016. (Photo by David Hume Kennerly via Bank of America/Getty Images)

Supreme Court officials are moving to get law clerks to turn over phone records and sign affidavits in the hunt to find out how a draft of the high court’s majority opinion overturning Roe v. Wade got leaked, according to CNN.

The unprecedented step has reportedly prompted some clerks to consider hiring outside counsel.

Additionally, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who ordered the investigation shortly after the draft was leaked in early May, has reportedly met with the clerks as a group.

The major development in the investigation was first reported by CNN Supreme Court analyst Joan Biskupic, who’s been covering the high court for 25 years and has written multiple biographies on previous and current justices, including Roberts.

Supreme Court Marshal Gail Curley is leading the probe, per Roberts’ announcement on May 3. At the time, the chief justice slammed the leak as “a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here.”

The day before, Politico published an opinion draft written by Justice Samuel Alito indicating that the Supreme Court’s conservative majority had voted to overturn Roe following oral arguments, which took place late last year. The leak set off a firestorm with abortion advocates sounding the alarm that the high court intends to dismantle abortion rights and conservatives deflecting by manufacturing outrage over the fact of the leak.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: