Who Leaked the Supreme Court Draft Decision?

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Capitol Hill has been in controversy this month as lawmakers point fingers and wonder who leaked a divisive Supreme Court draft decision that could overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision from 1973.

While that case has set a judicial precedent for nearly 50 years, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito writes in a leaked opinion that the court was mistaken in deciding in favor of reproductive rights. 

Alito and the court’s majority found that the Roe v. Wade decision essentially functioned as a piece of legislation from the high court. Alito argues that each state in the US should have its own laws pertaining to reproductive rights and family planning.

However, one issue continues to plague the court: who could have leaked the controversial opinion and sparked countless protests around the US?

Who Leaked the Opinion?

Lawmakers and news anchors have posited various theories regarding the identity of the draft opinion’s leaker. Texas Senator Ted Cruz recently told reporters that he finds it unlikely that any of the Supreme Court justices released the draft opinion to the press.

“I do not believe any justice did that. I think it would be unimaginable for a [Supreme Court] justice to do this,” Cruz explained to reporters this week. However, Cruz believes that finding out who did release the document is of utmost importance for the government’s security.

“Let’s start off with who has access to this opinion,” Cruz continued. “It is a very small pool of suspects. The court itself is a small institution. It’s a big building but [a] small institution.”

Why Leak the Opinion?

The draft decision is one of the most controversial cases before the Supreme Court this session. Many Democratic lawmakers have expressed their discontent at the current makeup of the court–six conservative-appointed justices serve on the bench, while only three liberally-appointed justices sit opposite them.

This is the most lopsided court composition in decades, and the conservative wing of the court has wasted no time in ruling on cases that are important to Republican politicians.

Cruz believes that a law clerk working for Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, or Stephen Breyer must have released the sensitive information to the public. “It is almost certainly one of those 36 law clerks,” Cruz speculates. “And I think it is almost certainly one of the 12 law clerks that are clerking for the three liberal justices. That is a small suspect pool.”

The court is expected to hand down its opinion in the case later this session and is unlikely to reverse its position between now and its official ruling.