Unlike Their Staff, The Supreme Court Justices Didn't Have To Sign Affidavits Swearing They Didn’t Leak The Draft Abortion Decision

Rules for thee, but not for me.

Every Supreme Court employee who had access to the draft abortion decision that was leaked prior to its official announcement has signed sworn affidavits promising that they weren’t behind the disclosure.

Every employee except for the nine justices, that is. 

The revelation that the justices were not asked or required to sign an affidavit came Friday, a day after the top US court’s Office of the Marshal released a report in which it said its investigators had been unable to identify the culprit behind the leaking of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization to Politico in May. 

“During the course of the investigation, I spoke with each of the Justices, several on multiple occasions,” Marshal Gail A. Curley said in a statement released by the court on Friday. “The Justices actively cooperated in this iterative process, asking questions and answering mine. I followed up on all credible leads, none of which implicated the Justices or their spouses.

“On this basis, I did not believe that it was necessary to ask the Justices to sign sworn affidavits,” Curley said. 

In the report released Thursday, the marshal said that 126 interviews had been conducted with 97 court employees as part of the hunt for the leaker. The marshal said “the investigation focused on Court personnel — temporary (law clerks) and permanent employees — who had or may have had access to the draft opinion.” 

At the conclusion of the initial interviews, each employee was asked to sign an affidavit, under penalty of perjury, that they weren’t behind the leak. “If investigators later determine any personnel lied to the investigators, those personnel would be subject to prosecution for a false statement,” the marshal wrote. 

Some attention had been directed toward Justice Alito himself following a New York Times report from November that revealed a former anti-abortion leader had learned of the outcome of another Alito-majority decision in 2014 prior to its public release after his friends dined with the justice and his wife. 

Alito told the newspaper that the allegation that the outcome of the 2014 case had been shared by him or his wife was “completely false.”

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