Chief Justice John Roberts Orders Investigation Into ‘Roe’ Draft Opinion Leak
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed on Tuesday the authenticity of the opinion draft leaked on Monday night.
“To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed,” a statement from Roberts read. “The work of the Court will not be affected in any way.”
“This was a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here. I have directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak,” the chief justice added.
The current marshal, Gail Curley, has limited investigative capabilities. Though she could call on the FBI for help, Roberts has long been wary of calling on another branch to weigh in on the Supreme Court’s affairs, instead opting to keep the work of the high court separate.
Just under 50 people had access to the document. Those people include the nine justices and their clerks and staff.
“Somebody, likely somebody inside the court itself, leaked a confidential internal draft to the press, almost certainly in an effort to stir up an inappropriate pressure campaign to sway an outcome,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said on the Senate floor.
The leaked opinion draft, written by Justice Samuel Alito, indicates the high court’s intention to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case that nationally legalized abortion and return the right to decide stance on abortion to the individual states. The leaked document was first circulated between the justices in early February.