USS SCOTUS Succumbs To The Swamp
For the first time in the 232-year history of the United States Supreme Court, the full text of a draft opinion was released to the public in advance of the actual ruling. While there have been other minor leaks of information about pending decisions, there had never been anything like the leak of the draft in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, a case which may reverse or severely limit the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision.
For me, the case itself is immaterial. The fact that the confidentiality of the Court’s deliberations has been breached is of more concern. With this leak, the final branch of the United States government has succumbed to the depths of the swamp. I am sad to report the USS SCOTUS has sunk.
One of the great distinguishing characteristics of the United States Supreme Court had always been its lack of leaks. Of the three branches of government, SCOTUS has always been unique in that it has never been a source of major political leaks, whereas the other two branches leak like a sieve. Why the Administration and Congress even have press offices is a mystery when more partisan information, and disinformation, flows out the back door than through the official channels.
It’s not that SCOTUS isn’t political, the fact that there are conservative and liberal wings of the Court instead of simply having Justices that rule on Constitutional and rule of law issues without an ideologic filter proves that.
Chief Justice John Roberts has ordered an investigation into the source of the leak calling it an “egregious breach of trust”. The latest news of the investigation indicates some of the Court’s law clerks are seeking legal representation after being asked for phone records. A bit on the ironic side.
There are some interesting points about the leak itself. That the draft opinion is dated February 10th and the story didn’t publish until May 2nd is part of the intrigue. Did the highly partisan left “news” outlet hold onto the story until a specified time for maximum political impact, or did it take that long for the leaker to get it to them?
The biggest question is of course who leaked the document. Numerous articles from those with experience in the Court indicate access to this type of information is strictly limited to the nine Justices, each of their four law clerks and a few administrative personnel. As such, the speculation has been wild, including:
One of the liberal Justices
One of the liberal Justices’ law clerks
One of the conservative Justices
One of the conservative Justices’ law clerks
Chief Justice Roberts himself
The President of the United States (although someone would have had to leak it to him)
Most everyone agrees the reason was to pressure one of the conservative Justices to change their minds on a subsequent, final vote. The alternative view is it was done to distract the people from the many issues the country is facing including the out-of-control inflation and price increases, a looming recession, shortages of consumer goods, supply chain issues, skyrocketing crime, an unsecured border, and our disastrous foreign policy (Afghanistan, Middle East, Ukraine, Russia, China, Taiwan, etc.), to name but a few. Either, or both is plausible.
The Administration has been quick to add fuel to the fire by not only encouraging protests at the homes of the conservative Justices, illegal under federal law, but by refusing to investigate or prosecute these crimes. Congress also refused to pass legislation to increase security for the Justices and their families following the arrest of a man who admitted he was going kill one of the conservative Justices: The Speaker of the House commented: “There will be a bill. But nobody is in danger over the weekend because of our not having a bill.” Confident words of encouragement from someone who lives in a security bubble.
There has been the usual “Reform the Court” talk that typically follows the news of a potential Supreme Court decision that does not comply with the wishes of the extreme left. The same “pack the court” and “term limits for justices” arguments were dusted off and paraded out to the press.
It’s not like there isn’t precedent for successful pressuring of the Supreme Court. Recall the Senate Democrats “Heal Thyself” letter threatening to pack the Court if it didn’t moot the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York. This letter is widely credited with not only Chief Justice Roberts decision to moot the case but to more firmly side with the left wing of the Court. As a result, the Court was saved from being packed, at least temporarily. But this capitulation showed the Court can be politically influenced and is in danger of no longer being an independent branch of government.
Will the leaker and anyone involved in the leak ever be identified and brought to justice? I’m going to guess no. I believe the person or persons responsible may already be known but will never be publicly outed. Why can best be explained by quoting Obi-Wan Kenobi. “If you strike me down, I will become more powerful than you can imagine.”
Publicly identifying, terminating, and criminally charging the leaker would create a martyr, someone who would become powerful political figurehead for the extreme alt-left. As such, the world may just live with rumors and suspicions, and another asterisk next to Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts.
What this means to us in the Second Amendment community remains to be seen but I’ll repeat what I’ve said before. Yes, it does matter who you vote for.
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