We’ve finally heard from the Supreme Court of the United States about the investigation into the leak of a draft opinion in the Dobbs case last year. The leaked information caused weeks of protests and illegal harassment of justices while they were in their homes.
The response from the High Court was 23 pages long, but what was given to the public was not full of any conclusions.
The report states that the May 2022 leak of the Dobbs opinion was “one of the worst breaches of trust in its history” and “no mere misguided attempt at protest” but “a grave assault on the judicial process.”
Chief Justice John Roberts asked the Marshal of the Supreme Court and her staff to begin the investigation and find out how it got leaked and then published by Politico.
“After months of diligent analysis of forensic evidence and interviews of almost 100 employees, the Marshal’s team determined that no further investigation was warranted,” the Supreme Court’s statement said.
It went on to describe how the team followed up on all available leads, but after forensic analysis and follow-up interviews, they were not able to identify a person responsible for the leak by a preponderance of the evidence.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff assessed the investigation and declared it “thorough.” He also said that he “cannot identify any additional useful investigative measures” that haven’t already been used.
The Marshal’s report noted that “if a Court employee disclosed the draft opinion, that person brazenly violated a system that was built fundamentally on trust with limited safeguards to regulate and constrain access to very sensitive information.”
The one area of good news is that the investigation identified several areas that need to be improved in the Supreme Court.
The Marshal said that investigators will continue to review the process and pledged to pursue any new leads revealed.