The Supreme Court declared on Thursday that its inquiry into who leaked a draft ruling signaling the overturning of Roe v. Wade, which had been ongoing for almost 11 months, was inconclusive.
A 20-page public copy of the investigation was made available by the court. Chief Justice John Roberts initially ordered the Supreme Court marshal to lead the investigation, but Roberts then requested assistance from the Chertoff Group, an outside organization. According to the report, “the team has not been able to identify a person responsible by a preponderance of the evidence.”
Although the report is unconclusive, Supreme Court Marshal Gail Anne Curley’s inquiry is still ongoing, as noted in an unsigned summary of the report: “[i]nvestigators continue to evaluate and process certain electronic data that has been collected and a few other questions remain pending.”
The statement went on to say that “the investigators will pursue them” if further investigation turns up fresh facts.
The statement announcing Curley’s conclusions reads, “The Marshal and her team will continue to have our full support.”
The Wall Street Journal published an exclusive article with limited details regarding new developments in the inquiry but indicated that officials had conjectured at least one law clerk was a suspect just one week prior to the high court’s findings on the leaked draft ruling from May.
There were no indications of a technological breach, however, and all court personnel who were questioned as part of the investigation denied being the sources of the leak.
In a supplementary statement that was attached to the report, Michael Chertoff, who held the position of Homeland Security secretary under former President George W. Bush, suggested many security-related actions for the supreme court.
Chertoff examined the internal investigation carried out by the court and came to the conclusion that it was done thoroughly. I am unable to think of any other useful investigative steps at this moment,” he stated.
When the June 24 judgment in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was published with almost any modifications from the original, it confirmed the May leak of the draft opinion to Politico that the high court was prepared to vote along conservative-liberal ideological lines to overturn Roe.
Justices faced increased security concerns from pro-abortion rights protesters at their private residences in the months following the leak. In addition, in June, Justice Brett Kavanaugh was the target of a very real threat when a 26-year-old man arrived at his Maryland home with a gun and the intention to kill the justice, according to statements he made in a 911 call.
Indicating that the inquiry into the leak was still ongoing, Justice Neil Gorsuch said on September 8 that he “hoped” that a report summarizing the results of the high court’s internal investigation would be released soon.
At the 10th Circuit Bench and Bar Conference at the Broadmoor resort in Colorado, Gorsuch stated, “The chief justice created an internal committee to monitor the investigation.” “That group has been very active, and we anticipate their report, hopefully shortly.”
Gorsuch hinted at the publication of the new report months before the Jan. 19 release date, leading observers of the court and advocates to wonder whether a report was actually on the way and whether it would be made public.
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