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SCOTUS Investigation Has 'Narrowed Down' List of Potential Leakers

AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe

It's been nearly three months since the shocking leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion in the Dobbs case showed a majority of justices voting to uphold Mississippi's pro-life protections and overturn Roe v. Wade. Still, details on the Court's investigation — launched by Chief Justice John Roberts and led by the Supreme Court Marshal Gail A. Curley — have been slim to none. 


But legal eagle Shannon Bream and her team have continued digging to get information about what, if any progress is being made in the investigation. While the Court won't officially comment, Bream cited "multiple sources" at SCOTUS "the investigation was narrowed down from roughly 70 or so people at the Court who could have had access to that leaked opinion now to a smaller group."

That, finally, sounds like some progress. Earlier updates from the Court only reported that clerks — a group thought most likely to include the leaker due to their access to and work on draft opinions — had been asked to turn over their cell phones and sign affidavits as part of Marshal Curley's investigation. Bream also reported that the marshal's investigation saw permanent Court staff — who may have had access to the draft opinion — asked to turn over their cell phones as well.

And while the Bream Team was unable to learn how narrow the list of leak suspects has become, they did find another potential obstacle to ultimately determining who shattered the longstanding trust within the Court with the unprecedented leak: the clerks who were working at the Court when the leak occurred are likely no longer employed there — the usual one-year employment period for clerks ends in mid-July.


"Because this was launched as an internal investigation, if it hasn't gone beyond that scope, it's likely the Court no longer has jurisdiction, at least not as an employer over the clerks who were working there when the leak happened."

What happens now? More waiting to see if the Marshal's investigation into what Chief Justice Roberts called an "egregious leak" ever determines definitively who sent the draft Dobbs decision to POLITICO, which ultimately published the full draft on May 3.

The Associated Press tried getting answers from the Court in late July about its leak investigation, and came up empty:

The Supreme Court won’t say whether it’s still investigating.

The court also won’t say whether the leaker has been identified or whether anyone has been disciplined.

Or whether an outside law firm or the FBI has been called in.

Or whether the court will ever offer an accounting of what transpired.

Or whether it has taken steps to try to prevent a repeat.

To these and other emailed questions, Supreme Court spokeswoman Patricia McCabe said by email: “The Court has no comment.”

The silence and lack of updates, while partially understandable due to the nature of such an investigation, has gone on a bit too long. After all, the leak resulted in weeks of harassment of Supreme Court Justices, including illegally at their homes, and led a would-be assassin to travel to the East Coast with plans to kill Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Thankfully, that attempt was unsuccessful. But the seriousness of the leak's consequences mandates answers from the Supreme Court about who is responsible for the Dobbs leak and how the Court will make changes to prevent such public pressure from being brought to bear on what is supposed to be an independent judicial body.


Watch Bream's full update on Special Report below:

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