Posted on Practice and Procedure Blog / Blog / Clerks – No Choice but Come Clean Over Supreme Court Leak


Clerks – No Choice but Come Clean Over Supreme Court Leak

For a long time, one of the major abortion cases was under review at the Supreme Court. Finally, it was believed that the Supreme Court will be able to provide the decision date for the particular case.

However, the inside sources have claimed that the draft opinion for the decision on the investigation has been leaked out. This has resulted in heating up the entire situation causing a judicial crisis.

In the meantime, Justice Kavanaugh and right leaning Supreme Court Justices being targeted. He was stalked by a man at his home, who is now charged with attempted murder. The intimidation tactics against the Supreme Court justices is going full steam ahead, as the press buries the story about law clerk leaks and attempted murder.

“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” – Chief Justice John Roberts.

Roe v. Wade Pro abortion rights and pro life, anti infanticide demonstrators protest outside SCOTUS after the leak of a draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito readying for court majority to overturn landmark Roe v. Wade decision soon in Washington, May 3, 2022.

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[Page Updated 06/10/2022] The leak investigation led by the Marshal of the U.S. Supreme Court (Court’s internal police force), by order of Chief Justice John Roberts, has resulted in some severe consequences for various court clerks. The Marshal, who acts as the Court’s chief security officer, requests the clerks’ private phone records. Clerks are also required to sign affidavits under penalty of perjury they did not leak the Supreme Court opinion, which could later be used against them in a perjury trial. This has some on the right and the left calling fairness into question. Like any other citizen, the clerks are entitled to notice and opportunity, not to convict themselves.

Marshal Gail Curley is a career Army JAG lawyer who graduated from West Point. She is an expert in national security law. She will be the lead investigator, according to Chief Justice Roberts. Curley declined to offer details about the investigation or how it will be conducted. She also refused to tell us whether or not her finding would be made public. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland also declined to comment as to whether or not Biden’s Justice Department or federal law enforcement would be used to assist the Marshal.

The Draft

It was on May 2 that a draft was published by Politico, flooring Supreme Court Justice Roberts and destroying hundreds of years of Supreme Court tradition. The current was reportedly readied for the Jackson Women’s Health Organization by Samuel Alito. The draft supreme court opinion was apparently for the Jackson Women’s Health Organization v. Dobbs case. The case was about the abortion law being practiced in Mississippi.

The draft written by Justice Alito was for introducing new standards and laws about abortion. The new measures being proposed were not just for Mississippi but the entire United States of America.

It was expected that the new abortion law would downturn the ruling passed back in 1973. Until now, the abortion law being practiced in the United States is the Roe v. Wade case. Its decision was reportedly implemented throughout the United States.
Following the implementation of the new ruling, the decision to make changes to the abortion law would come under the state of Mississippi.

The authenticity of the Leaked Draft Opinion

Politico has confirmed that they have confirmation that the leaked draft bill is authentic. However, they did advise that because it is a draft, it has the potential to be changed. Therefore, the viewers and people concerned with the matter shouldn’t consider it an absolute draft.

The concerned parties involved in the instant matter have the power to make amendments to the draft. Despite the draft opinion being written, changes can still be made to it by the end of June.

Reaction against the Leak

Right after the publication of the leaked draft, a tremendously negative reaction was recorded from the publics’ end. Huge crowds gathered to record their pro-abortion protests. The conservative wing’s members at the Supreme Court even started receiving threats after the publication.

It is expected that the conservative wing members would be the ones backing up the final decision, which happens to be the draft opinion for now.

The Supreme Court Clerks Undergo Investigation

Following the leak, an internal investigation was launched at the Supreme Court. According to sources, the law clerks will be brought into the circle, and a thorough investigation will be conducted against them.

For the investigation, the law clerks will be required to sign affidavits and be asked to provide their cell phone records. CNN claims three inside sources have fed them with information.

The sources have confirmed that the recent investigation requirements have alerted some of the clerks at work. They are very concerned with the matter and seem to be going for counseling with the outside counsels surrounding the case.

Chief Justice Meets the Clerks

After the leak, John Roberts, the Chief Justice at the Supreme Court, called and met with all the clerks at the Supreme Court. Four clerks are reportedly assigned to each justice. Working with the Chief Justice, the clerks have an opportunity that only a selected number of people can avail themselves of, but not if they sparked the Court’s leak probe.

It is known as a significant stepping stone for law clerks due to the Court’s reputation as the highest in the land. Being under the acquaintance of the justice, they have strong futures ahead in terms of their careers.

Claims Made by CNN

According to CNN reporters, there are 36 clerks at the Supreme Court. However, others at the Supreme Court have access to the draft. Including the 36 clerks, there are a total of 75 people who had access to the draft that appears to overturn abortion rights federally.

Penalty for Court Clerks / Others For Leaking Draft Decision?

Chief Justice Warren Burger was the founder of the “20-second rule.” What is that, you ask? Simple, if a court clerk spoke with a reporter, they’d be fired in “20 seconds.” Since that period, the Court has created a well-established code of conduct for court clerks. But what is the penalty?

A draft opinion document is not a classified normally; a leaked classified document would form the nexus of a criminal leak investigation. If the leaker of the draft opinion, skewering former Justice Harry Blackmun, and overturning Roe v. Wade will be faced with criminal prosecution, it depends on their status at the Court and how they got their hands on the information at the high court.

Thiru Vignarajah, the former clerk for Justice Stephen Breyer, told a reporter: “There were two different servers — one for draft opinions and another for you to do your research — to make sure that an external hack didn’t happen to the Supreme Court.”

Penalty for Court Clerks Leaking Supreme Court’s Draft Decision?

Hacking into the Supreme Court’s computers would clearly be illegal. Criminal statutes, including theft of government property, may be useful in prosecuting a law clerk who stole. So assuming the leaker didn’t have legitimate access to the document, there could be jail time. More likely is disbarment. It was highly unethical and against the Judicial Canons to steal a draft opinion and release it to the media.

It undermines integrity in our judicial system. So if the leaker is a lawyer, their card will get pulled. If the leaker is a law student, they will likely NEVER be allowed to sit for any bar exam, let alone practice law.

Conclusion

Approximately 50 to 100 individuals likely had access to the leaked draft opinion. (nine justices, 37 clerks, several administrative employees, security guards, and office staff.) Some experts opine that the liberal justices appointed by President Obama orchestrated this, citing their radical backgrounds, with one actively assisting Eric Holder of the Weather Underground. Either way, no experts believe clerks working for justices appointed by Republican presidents participated in this felonious act.

If you have information or updates, we want to hear about it. Contact us today to tell your side of the story at (213) 596-9642.

Citations:


Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline in Tuxedo

Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael is an expert at deciphering U.S. Supreme Court opinions, and has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements and verdicts after the Court’s deliberations.


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