Roe V. Wade Leaker Could Be Disbarred

( After the Supreme Court’s draft majority opinion in a major case regarding abortion was leaked this week, many lawmakers instantly called for a full-fledged investigation that would hopefully lead to the perpetrator being held accountable for their actions.
Members of both parties denounced the unprecedented action, which has cut to the core of the integrity of the highest court in the land. Mitch McConnell, the minority leader in the Senate, had some harsh words for the leaker this week when he said:
“This lawless action should be investigated and punished as fully as possible.”
Chief Justice John Roberts almost immediately called for a full investigation to be completed by the Supreme Court’s marshal. What authority they have to do anything — or experience in such an investigation — is uncertain at this point.
But, many legal pundits believe that even if the leaker were to be found, it’s unlikely that any criminal charges would be brought against them. Instead, it might be more likely that the leaker could be disbarred from practicing law.
A Texas attorney, Omar Ochoa, recently commented for The Washington Examiner that the challenge to criminally prosecuting the leaker is that opinions that come out of the Supreme Court aren’t classified information. That makes it tough to refer the case for prosecution to the Department of Justice.
As Ochoa explained:
“There are certain agencies where disclosure of confidential information is actually a crime, like national security information, but I’m not aware of anything like that in the Supreme Court in terms of disclosing confidential information.”
In other words, while the leak of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion has created a lot of uproar and potentially compromised the integrity of the high court, it probably wasn’t a crime.
What could be considered a crime, Ochoa explained is if someone were to obtain information from the high court regarding a corporate case, and then use that information as part of insider trading to profit financially in some way.
Many legal experts say they believe that the leaker is most likely someone who works at the Supreme Court, such as a law clerk. That being said, they’ve advised not to jump to any conclusions until more information is revealed.
Vermont Law School professor Jared Carter, for example, said:
“I don’t know that we should necessarily assume that it was an inside job, so to speak, a clerk or a justice. Certainly, there’s hackers out there who perhaps have an incentive or a motive to do something like this … It’s all speculative at this point.”
Ochoa said he believes that if it were discovered that the leaker was a law clerk, that person would most likely be fired and also potentially face being disbarred.
As he explained:
“If it’s somebody … internal to the court, if it’s one of the law clerks for example. I mean, they are all lawyers … I think losing their employment would probably be the most straightforward outcome of the investigation if they were found out, but I think there’s also some potential for losing their license.”