The Supreme Court is an institution the American people believe in. It is the backbone of our judicial system. The place where anyone in America can appeal to have their case heard, and while not all are chosen, the honor of being selected is enormous. So, when the sanctity of that court is being violated, it is taken very seriously.
A leak of the documents that would overturn Roe v. Wade, brings a lot of trust being destroyed in the government. In response to this leak all Supreme Court clerks are being asked to hand over their private phone records. This of course alarmed many clerks, and they now need to start signing affidavits and considering hiring outside counsel. While the nature of the phone searches is unclear, Chief Justice John Roberts has not only confirmed the authenticity of the leak but has also met with the clerks about this leak.
Shortly following the May 2nd leak, a former clerk was quoted as saying “The court can’t operate if that happens. This is a major, major leak. It’s hard to imagine a bigger leak.”
Given how limited the number of clerks a Supreme Court justice may hire per term, they must be extremely selective in their decisions. These positions are usually taken by the leading graduates from some of the most prestigious law schools across the US. Six current justices were Supreme Court clerks to help prepare them for the nation’s top justice spot. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Josh Hawley (R-MI), as well as the White House chief of staff, Ron Klain have all been clerks.
The leaking of the documents has not been exclusively tied to a singular or a group of clerks. Given how prestigious the honor of clerking for the Supreme Court is, it would be hard to imagine one of the clerks risking the slamming of all those doors of opportunity to let the public know.
With the leftist outcry against this pending decision, and the number of Republicans asking for a criminal investigation, it would seem clear that this could be a political move. The goal could be to either raise voter turnout for the midterms (which should happen anyways), stoke the fires of political distrust within our government, or simply alert American women to the new reality of the more conservative Supreme Court.
Chief Justice Roberts has slammed the leak, calling it a “betrayal” and ordered a full Supreme Court marshal’s investigation. While it is too early to tell what, if anything, this investigation will show, it certainly is another example of something different happening under the Biden administration. Something never seen before according to Supreme Court historians as well as law clerks across the country.
If the justices don’t have faith in their chambers that what they discuss, write, or see is kept in confidence behind those walls, then they are unable to do their jobs fairly. A breach of this magnitude is not just a breach of the Supreme Court, but it is a breach of America itself.
Whoever created this leak has done something no sitting President has been able to do. They have done something more significant than any other case in recent history. They have not only given out a forecast of the future of the Supreme Court, but they have put every chief justice and politician on their heels. Some digging in to defend the decision, some to try and proclaim the leak makes this illegal. No matter what their perspective is, it is groundbreaking.