Can we save SCOTUS from the leaker?

The person who leaked the Alito draft opinion in the abortion case (Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health) committed an assault against the Supreme Court that has the potential to kill the Court's integrity moving forward.  That is, it opens the Court to political persuasion not only in this case (if you can call mob pressure "persuasion"), but also in every controversial case going forward.  How can the Court offset the damage?

So far, Chief Justice Roberts hasn't offset the damage.  Instead, once the Politico article leaked news of the purported draft opinion, Roberts admitted that the leaked draft is authentic.  By doing so, he astronomically raised the profile of both the leaker and the draft.

Before Roberts made his statement about the leak, reports about the draft could do no more than speculate that it was authentic.  By verifying the document's authenticity, Roberts has violated the confidentiality of the Court on a scale beyond what the leaker did.  It is as though they are in league together.  What should Roberts have said?  Nothing!

Roberts further verified the draft's validity when he announced that he has started an investigation to determine who the leaker is.  Any investigation should be confidential outside the potential influence of those beyond the Court.

Image: Chief Justice John Roberts by DonkeyHotey.  CC BY 2.0.

Roberts should be impeached and removed from the Court.

Will the leaker be punished if caught?  Well, that depends on what you consider to be punishment.  Regarding leaking qua leaking, he did not commit an actual crime because, technically speaking, the obligation of confidentiality is a duty to the institution rather than a legal requirement.  Having said that, if the intent was to interfere with the decision of the Supreme Court, Andrew C. McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor, writes that it's obstruction of a judicial proceeding.  The leaker also both embezzled and stole a government document.  In other words, a prosecutor can find charges that stick.  Of course, given that the case would proceed in D.C., it remains to be seen whether a jury would care.

The real question, then, is whether, after the leaker is fired (as one presumes he would be), his future legal career would suffer.  Well, maybe it would in Florida or South Carolina, but it wouldn't in California and many other places.  Instead, we'd have a new hero on the left!  Just imagine the book revenues and juicy job offers.

How can the Court save itself?  The justices should vote immediately in favor of the Alito opinion, acknowledging it as the final version.  The decision should be released on Friday at 5:00 P.M.  Dissenting views can be entered later.  Somehow, though, it's hard to imagine Justice Roberts taking this decisive action.  Instead, he's more likely to leave the Supreme Court out there, hanging in the breeze, waiting to be destroyed.

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