After eight months of investigation, the U.S. Supreme Court still doesn’t know who on its staff leaked a draft copy of the historic Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org. decision, which untangled the nearly 50-year-old abortion law known as Roe v. Wade, and sent the abortion question back to the states, so states can make their own laws regarding the legality of abortion.
The investigation “has to date been unable to identify a person responsible by a preponderance of the evidence.” The report says investigators conducted 126 formal interviews of nearly 100 employees, and all denied leaking the opinion to the media.
The investigation also found no credible reason to believe the court’s computers were hacked.
The justices went on, in an introduction to the report, to say that the Covid-19 pandemic remote work policies led to a situation where it would have been too easy for someone to get access to a document and leak it to the media. An independent legal review of the investigation recommended the court tighten up access to hard copies of sensitive documents and to limit email distribution of them to avoid further leaks.
The May 2, 2022 leak is considered to be the worst confidentiality breach in Supreme Court history and has shaken the faith in the institution. Politico, a publication read by politicos, published the draft opinion on May 2. The following day, Chief Justice John Roberts ordered an investigation by the court’s marshal, Gail Curley.
The justice’s issued a statement on Thursday calling the leak a form of misguided protest, and “a grave assault on the judicial process.” The justices called it a “betrayal of trust.”
Curley’s report, attached below, details what actions the investigation took, and concludes that the culprit remains unknown. The justices say no further investigation is warranted:
The leak of the Dobbs decision is thought to be the reason pro-abortion advocates attacked more than 100 crisis pregnancy clinics in recent months, attacks that started right after the publication by Politico.