Supreme Court officials are ramping up their investigation into the source of the leaked draft opinion published by Politico on May 2, escalating the already high tensions within the court.
Multiple sources have informed CNN that Supreme Court officials are preparing to require law clerks to hand over their phone records and signed affidavits in response to the leaking of an early draft opinion in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. Now, some clerks are considering hiring legal counsel, according to the network.
Following Politico’s publishing of the leaked opinion, which would effectively overturn Roe v. Wade and send the issue of abortion back to the states, an internal investigation was launched within the Supreme Court to find the leaker.
CNN spoke with an outside appellate lawyer concerning the situation. The lawyer warned of potential intrusiveness from Supreme Court officials into the personal activities of the law clerks.
“That’s what similarly situated individuals would do in virtually any other government investigation,” the appellate lawyer stated. “It would be hypocritical for the Supreme Court to prevent its own employees from taking advantage of that fundamental legal protection.”
Reporting from The Washington Free Beacon has revealed that Chief Justice John Roberts has already met with law clerks to discuss the leaks, though it is unclear whether or not individual interviews have taken place yet.
During a recent speech at the Old Parkland Conference for black conservatives in Dallas, Texas, Justice Clarence Thomas described the leak as an unprecedented breach of trust.
“When you lose that trust, especially in the institution that I’m in, it changes the institution fundamentally. You begin to look over your shoulder,” he stated. “It’s kind of like infidelity that you can explain it, but you can’t undo it.”