The Supreme Court investigation into who leaked a draft opinion indicating Roe v. Wade would be overturned last year has narrowed down the list of suspects, according to a new report.
The Wall Street Journal, which broke the news Friday, cited sources who stressed that officials have not yet settled on a specific suspect.
Chief Justice John Roberts announced that he had tasked the Supreme Court’s marshal, Gail Curley, with investigating how the draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito had leaked the day after POLITICO published it in May 2022.
“To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed. The work of the Court will not be affected in any way,” Roberts said in a statement.
More than a month later, on June 24, the Supreme Court released Alito’s majority opinion in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, which overturned the 1973 Roe decision and returned the issue of abortion to the states.
Curley leads a force of 189 officers, but because it has little experience in complex investigations the court brought in outside help and made strides in narrowing down the list of suspects by early summer, sources told The Wall Street Journal. An insider said interviews were sometimes short and included pointed questions such as “Did you do it? Do you know anyone who had a reason to do it?”
Fox News host Shannon Bream reported in late July that her sources were telling her the group of suspects had been whittled down from about 70 people, including law clerks working with the justices.
“Thanks to our amazing producer Bill Mears, [we] have been digging around and found that they have started this group of essentially about 70 or so that would have had access to that document,” Bream said at the time. “They have narrowed it down. They did ask the clerks who were then working at the court. And listen, their one-year contract is basically up mid-July. So most of them have moved on. They did ask them to turn over cellphones and sign affidavits. They asked some of those similar things also of permanent court employees.”
Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch said in September that he hoped a report on the leaked draft would be completed in the near future, though he did not comment on whether it would be released to the public. “The chief justice appointed an internal committee to oversee the investigation,” Gorsuch said at a conference. “That committee has been busy and we’re looking forward to their report, I hope soon.”
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