Joan Biskupic, legal analyst at CNN and Supreme Court biographer, shared her thoughts on whether she believes liberal justices played a role in the leak of a draft opinion.
During an interview with NPR, Scott Simon asked Biskupic, “From what you’ve read of the draft, does it suggest to you any particular interest on the court would have more to gain from leaking it?”
She replied, “I don’t think it serves either side. First of all, in some ways, it would appear to present this as a pretty final document just because it’s now out there.”
Biskupic added, “And maybe in that respect, it could benefit the conservatives who really want this outcome of reversing the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.”
She suggested the “outrage that it has provoked would probably cause some pause.”
Biskupic continued, “But then from the liberal end, the three remaining liberals on the court – Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan – first of all, from what I know of them, they would never have been party to anything like this, and I doubt that their clerks would have been.”
Listen to the interview below:
Nina Totenberg, a legal affairs correspondent for NPR, said the leading theory is the draft opinion was leaked by a conservative clerk.
“The leading theory is a conservative clerk who was afraid that one of the conservatives might be persuaded by Chief Justice Roberts to join a much more moderate opinion,” Totenberg said during an interview with ABC News Sunday.
She added, “There’s another theory that it was an outraged liberal clerk, but I think the only one that makes sense is that it came from somebody who was afraid this majority might not hold — that Chief Justice Roberts might persuade one of the conservatives to come over to him.”
Totenberg suggested it is “very unlikely” officials will find the leaker.
“You’re going to see the court will look like it is literally hunkered down, the security walls, all those kinds of things, at least till the end of June or later,” Totenberg said.
She continued, “This has emotionally put the court under seige in the same way that the Capitol across this very street was put under literal siege.”
ABC News reported Attorney General Merrick Garland would not say whether Justice Department or federal law enforcement resources have been requested or would be involved in the investigation of the leak.
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