Report on Findings in Supreme Court Leak Investigation Coming: Gorsuch

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
September 9, 2022Supreme Court

A report on the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion is coming, Justice Neil Gorsuch said on Sept. 8.

“The chief justice appointed an internal committee to oversee the investigation,” Gorsuch said, the Wall Street Journal reported. “That committee has been busy and we’re looking forward to their report, I hope soon.”

The justice was speaking during a judicial conference in Colorado Springs.

Gorsuch, a Trump appointee, did not provide other details, such as whether the report will be made available to the public, according to the paper. Conference organizers prevented reporters from questioning him or other judges.

The draft opinion on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was published on May 2 by Politico. It was the first draft opinion to be made public while deliberations were still going on in the same case.

Politico said it received a copy “from a person familiar with the court’s proceedings in the Mississippi case along with other details supporting the authenticity of the document.”

The document was authored by Justice Samuel Alito, a George W. Bush appointee. Alito said he found the court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which concluded that access to abortion was a constitutional right, was wrongly decided.

The opening of the majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Chief Justice John Roberts, another George W. Bush appointee, soon confirmed the authenticity of the document while criticizing what he described as a “betrayal of the confidences of the Court.”

Roberts directed the court’s marshal to investigate the source of the leak.

Virtually no updates have been given since then, outside of reports based on anonymous sources.

The final decision in Dobbs was to strike down Roe v. Wade, with Alito penning the majority opinion.

A number of justices have commented on the leak, saying it has fundamentally changed how the court operates.

“When you lose that trust, especially in the institution that I’m in, it changes the institution fundamentally,” Justice Clarence Thomas, a George H.W. Bush appointee who is the court’s most senior member, said during a conference in May. “You begin to look over your shoulder. It’s like kind of an infidelity that you can explain it, but you can’t undo it.”

Gorsuch echoed that line of thinking at Thursday’s event.

“Improper efforts to influence judicial decision making, from whatever side, are a threat” to the judicial process, Gorsuch said, the Journal reported. “They inhibit our capacity to communicate with one another,” reducing the candor between jurists of different persuasions that “improves our final products.”

“I very much hope we get to the bottom of this sooner or later,” he added.

From The Epoch Times

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