“We’re living in an age of rage where nothing seems inviolate anymore, no principles seems sacred, and it makes some of us feel almost naive.”
Professor Jonathan Turley of George Washington University appeared on FOX News yesterday to offer his analysis on the leaked Supreme Court opinion on Roe v. Wade.
It sounds like a much more serious situation when you hear Turley describe it.
Transcript via FOX News:
JONATHAN TURLEY: What is clear is that what occurred with this leak was an unspeakably unethical act, and it is unfortunately a sign of our times. We’re living in an age of rage where nothing seems inviolate anymore, no principles seems sacred, and it makes some of us feel almost naive. Even though this is a city that floats on a rolling sea of leaks, the court was always an island of integrity, and most of us didn’t think this day would come. And I’m not too sure why. Maybe it’s because we let hope triumph over experience.
But the court has a long tradition that it would not yield to politics. It would not yield to dirty tricks. Somebody shattered that tradition, and the investigation that will now ensue is going to shatter the culture of the court. It’s going to take a lot to get to the bottom of this. Yes, it’s a small institution. It’s a small number of people that are likely involved. But whoever did this likely took steps to hide their tracks.
Turley goes on to suggest that when this person is found out, his or her legal career is effectively over and that they will likely be disbarred.
Watch the segment below:
The SCOTUS blog had a similar reaction:
It’s impossible to overstate the earthquake this will cause inside the Court, in terms of the destruction of trust among the Justices and staff. This leak is the gravest, most unforgivable sin.
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) May 3, 2022
Turley went a bit further speculating about the investigation and possible punishments on his blog:
The question is how the Court will proceed in the investigation. Anyone taking this deeply unethical act is likely to have taken steps to hide their tracks. I would be surprised if there were a paper trail or email record. However, anyone who would take such a reckless act may have been equally reckless in the means used to violate the Court’s rules.
If the culprit is a lawyer, disbarment would seem a virtual certainty. This person may be a hero in the eyes of some, but will remain a pariah in the eyes of any ethical lawyer. Yet, disbarment could be the least of the problems. If a suspect lies to the FBI, there could be prosecution under 18 U.S.C. 1001.
Thus, the culprit will have to make a decision today of whether to radically increase the potential costs of this act. There are a relatively small number of individuals with access to these drafts. It is likely that the culprit will be contacted quickly with others by investigators. That will prove a critical moment that could transform an unethical into a criminal act.
This person should be made an example of, as a warning to others. Leaks to the media for the sake of dirty politics have become far too common.
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