According to new reports, the Supreme Court investigation to find the leaker of the February draft opinion in which five Justices voted to overturn Roe v Wade is now heating up, with law clerks being required to disclose their cell phone records and that has them very worried.
Supreme Court officials are escalating their search for the source of the leaked draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, taking steps to require law clerks to provide cell phone records and sign affidavits, three sources with knowledge of the efforts have told CNN.
Some clerks are apparently so alarmed over the moves, particularly the sudden requests for private cell data, that they have begun exploring whether to hire outside counsel.
The court’s moves are unprecedented and the most striking development to date in the investigation into who might have provided Politico with the draft opinion it published on May 2. The probe has intensified the already high tensions at the Supreme Court, where the conservative majority is poised to roll back a half-century of abortion rights and privacy protections.
Chief Justice John Roberts met with law clerks as a group after the breach, CNN has learned, but it is not known whether any systematic individual interviews have occurred.
Sources familiar with efforts underway say the exact language of the affidavits or the intended scope of that cell phone search — content or time period covered — is not yet clear.
The Supreme Court did not respond to a CNN request on Monday for comment related to the phone searches and affidavits.
This investigation is being handled by the Marshal of the Court, Gail A. Curley, who was appointed in 2021. She is chief of the United States Supreme Court Police, which according to Wikipedia is answerable to the court itself and not anyone in the executive branch.
According to CNN, the amount of people in the court that would have had access to the leaked opinion could number as high as 75 people:
Other employees connected to the nine chambers would have had some access to the opinion. CNN could not verify that number, but former law clerks say the document could have been sent through regular channels to nearly 75 people. It is not known if court officials are asking employees who are part of the permanent staff, beyond the one-year law clerks, for their phone records.
That’s a lot of people and a lot of cell phone data. I have little doubt that the court will be as thorough as it needs to be to find the leaker, so they probably will require cell phone data from permanent employees at some point if they don’t find it among the activist clerks.
It sounds like Curley has her hands full on this one and I wish her luck.