On Thursday, Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch confirmed that the Court’s internal investigation into the May leak of the draft opinion overruling Roe v. Wade was continuing, and that he expects a report on the incident soon.
“The chief justice appointed an internal committee to oversee the investigation,” Justice Gorsuch said, according to the Wall Street Journal. “That committee has been busy and we’re looking forward to their report, I hope soon.”
“Justice Gorsuch didn’t say whether the report would be made public, and the conference prohibited reporters from interviewing him or other judges,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
He also condemned the leak, saying, “Improper efforts to influence judicial decision making, from whatever side, are a threat” to the judicial process.
“They inhibit our capacity to communicate with one another,” Justice Gorsuch added. “I very much hope we get to the bottom of this sooner or later.”
In May, a draft of the Supreme Court’s majority opinion overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked to Politico. In the draft, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that “Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely—the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito added. “Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”
In response to the leak, Chief Justice John Roberts released a statement announcing there would be an internal investigation into the incident, saying, “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.”
“We at the Court are blessed to have a workforce – permanent employees and law clerks alike – intensely loyal to the institution and dedicated to the rule of law,” Roberts continued. “Court employees have an exemplary and important tradition of respecting the confidentiality of the judicial process and upholding the trust of the Court. 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,” Roberts added.
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