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Tags: justice neil gorsuch | supreme court | draft leak | abortion | roe v. wade | investigation

Justice Gorsuch: Supreme Court's Draft Leak Still Being Investigated

supreme court justice neil gorsuch talking
Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch (Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 09 September 2022 08:56 AM EDT

An internal Supreme Court investigation into the leak of the draft opinion overruling Roe v. Wade continues, Justice Neil Gorsuch said.

Politico reported in May that the high court had voted to strike down the landmark decision legalizing abortion nationwide, according to an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito and circulated inside the court.

Chief Justice John Roberts met with law clerks as a group after the breach, according to CNN, and ordered the court's marshal to lead a probe into the source of the leak.

The Supreme Court on June 24 announced a 6-3 decision that upheld a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, and said that issue belongs with the state because the Constitution does not enshrine a right to an abortion.

More than two months later, the leak's source remains unknown.

"The chief justice appointed an internal committee to oversee the investigation," Gorsuch told the 10th Circuit Bench and Bar Conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported.

"That committee has been busy, and we're looking forward to their report, I hope soon."

Gorsuch, at a conference that did not allow reporters to ask questions, did not say if the report will be made public.

He joined other justices in condemning the draft's leak, suggesting it was intended to affect the outcome of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.

"Improper efforts to influence judicial decision making, from whatever side, are a threat [to the judicial process]," Gorsuch told the conference attendees, WSJ 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."

In mid-May, Justice Clarence Thomas told reporters that the draft leak could damage the public "trust" in the Supreme Court.

"When you lose that trust, especially in the institution that I'm in, it changes the institution fundamentally," Thomas said. "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."

At the 11th Circuit Judicial Conference in Atlanta just days after the leaked draft became public, Roberts told conference attendees that he hoped "one bad apple" would not change "people's perception" of the nation's highest court and workforce.

Roberts also said that if "the person" or "people" behind the leak think it will affect the work of the high court, they are "foolish."

Little has emerged from the court's probe into the leak, other than a demand from investigators that justices' law clerks sit for interviews and surrender their cellphones – something that prompted several clerks to seek legal counsel.

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An internal Supreme Court investigation into the leak of the draft opinion overruling Roe v. Wade continues, Justice Neil Gorsuch said.
justice neil gorsuch, supreme court, draft leak, abortion, roe v. wade, investigation
Friday, 09 September 2022 08:56 AM
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