Speed Reads


Supreme Court says it couldn't identify leaker of abortion opinion

The Supreme Court announced on Thursday it has not been able to figure out who leaked to Politico last May the draft opinion that overturned Roe v. Wade.

The investigation was conducted by Supreme Court Marshal Gail Curley, and her report released Thursday states that the inquiry focused on 82 employees who had access to either electronic or hard copies of the draft opinion in the case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.

"No one confessed to publicly disclosing the document and none of the available forensic and other evidence provided a basis for identifying any individual as the source of the document," the report says. "All personnel who had access to the draft opinion signed sworn affidavits affirming they did not disclose the draft opinion nor know anything about who did."

While the inquiry was "unable to identify a person responsible by preponderance of the evidence," investigators did discover that several Supreme Court staffers spoke with their spouses or partners about the draft decision, the report said, and they couldn't "rule out the possibility" someone left the draft in a public space.

"The leak was no mere misguided attempt at protest," the Supreme Court said in its statement. "It was a grave assault on the judicial process" and an "extraordinary betrayal of trust."

The court issued its decision in June with a vote of 5-4, and the final opinion closely matched the draft.

It's not clear if the Supreme Court justices themselves were interviewed as part of the probe, Politico reports. Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff reviewed Curley's investigation and report, and wrote that the Supreme Court "has already taken steps to increase security and tighten controls regarding the handling of sensitive documents. More significantly, the chief justice has also directed a comprehensive review of the court's information and document security protocols to mitigate the risk of future incidents."