Supreme Court says cannot identify who leaked draft opinion that led to overturning of Roe v. Wade

The Supreme Court Marshal investigating the leak "has to date been unable to identify a person responsible by a preponderance of the evidence," the court said. 

Updated: January 19, 2023 - 3:16pm

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The Supreme Court said Thursday it cannot  identify who leaking the draft opinion of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org., the landmark case that overturned the constitutional right to an abortion. 

The Supreme Court marshal investigating the leak "has to date been unable to identify a person responsible by a preponderance of the evidence," the court said

The leak led to protests outside of justices' homes and conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh was targeted in an assassination attempt before the final decision was released on June 24, 2022.

"After examining the Court’s computer devices, networks, printers, and available call and text logs, investigators have found no forensic evidence indicating who disclosed the draft opinion," the marshal's office wrote in a report on the probe.

Investigators interviewed 97 employees, all of whom denied sending the draft opinion to Politico, also according to the marshal's office.

All of the interviewed employees signed an affidavit under the penalty of perjury stating that they did not share the draft opinion, officials said. If investigators later find they lied, then the personnel would be subject to prosecution.

"Investigators continue to review and process some electronic data that has been collected and a few other inquiries remain pending. To the extent that additional investigation yields new evidence or leads, the investigators will pursue them," the marshal wrote.

The report found that the COVID-19 pandemic, which allowed more work from home, along with gaps in security policies, increased the risk of inappropriate disclosures of court information.

"While investigators and the Court’s IT experts cannot absolutely rule out a hack, the evidence to date reveals no suggestion of improper outside access. Investigators also cannot eliminate the possibility that the draft opinion was inadvertently or negligently disclosed – for example, by being left in a public space either inside or outside the building," the report stated.

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