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Information or Disinformation? CNN Report On SCOTUS Abortion Leak Seems Designed To Point Finger At Conservative Justices

Information or Disinformation? CNN Report On SCOTUS Abortion Leak Seems Designed To Point Finger At Conservative Justices

I’m still voting a lefty-law clerk did it. Until proven otherwise. -- Public Domain

So remember the leak of the draft Alito majority opinion overturning Roe v. Wade in the Mississippi abortion case (Dobbs), that looked a lot like the eventual official majority opinion? That leak in early May 2022 led to several weeks of protests and attacks on the conservative Justices, including an assassination attempt on Brett Kavanaugh that has been memory-holed by the media and Democrats.

The standard speculation was that it was a law clerk for a liberal Justice. But there were alternatives spread, such as that it was an attempt by one of the conservative Justices to keep the others in line by alerting the public that there already was a 5-vote majority. That never made sense to me, because none of the Alito-5 was a surprise, and in so leaking, the Justices would be exposed to weeks of threats.

Despite Chief Justice John Robert’s vow to investigate the leak, there has been no public information as to the status of the investigation or who was the leaker.

Today we have a report from CNN that might be true, or it might be disinformation designed to point the finger at one of the conservative Justices and throw the public off real trail. A red herring, as they say.

But let’s take it for what it’s worth, CNN reports, The inside story of how John Roberts failed to save abortion rights:

Chief Justice John Roberts privately lobbied fellow conservatives to save the constitutional right to abortion down to the bitter end, but May’s unprecedented leak of a draft opinion reversing Roe v. Wade made the effort all but impossible, multiple sources familiar with negotiations told CNN.

It appears unlikely that Roberts’ best prospect — Justice Brett Kavanaugh — was ever close to switching his earlier vote, despite Roberts’ attempts that continued through the final weeks of the session….

Multiple sources told CNN that Roberts’ overtures this spring, particularly to Kavanaugh, raised fears among conservatives and hope among liberals that the chief could change the outcome in the most closely watched case in decades. Once the draft was published by Politico, conservatives pressed their colleagues to try to hasten release of the final decision, lest anything suddenly threaten their majority.

Roberts’ persuasive efforts, difficult even from the start, were thwarted by the sudden public nature of the state of play. He can usually work in private, seeking and offering concessions, without anyone beyond the court knowing how he or other individual justices have voted or what they may be writing.

Kavanaugh had indicated during December oral arguments that he wanted to overturn Roe and CNN learned that he voted that way in a private justices’ conference session soon afterward.

I don’t think this CNN blockbuster actually reveals much that we didn’t already know or assume. The 5 conservatives voted in conference for the Alito draft, and CJ Roberts attempted to get a watered down result, which we all assumed would happen.

The report did reveal that permanent court employees turned over their electronic devices for inspection, making it less likely a permanent employee was the perp:

As CNN earlier reported, the court’s marshal, Gail Curley, asked law clerks who serve the justices for one-year terms to sign affidavits related to the leak and to turn over cell phone data. She also obtained electronic devices, CNN recently learned, from some permanent employees who work closely with the justices.

This bombshell has led law professor and blogger Paul Campos to declare, Sam Alito leaked his own Dobbs draft:

I’m calling my shot on this….

I always thought the theory that a clerk of one of the liberal justice’s leaked the draft was absurd: I’m intimately familiar, via professional association, with the ethnography of SCOTUS clerks, and they’re not that kind of people. This generalization is even more unimpeachable in regard to the clerks for the right wing justices, who have gotten into those positions through strategic social gymnastics that would embarrass a courtier in the court of Louis XIV.

So yeah, no.

Alito himself leaked the draft, to lock in Kavanaugh. It’s unlikely it was necessary to do that (Kavanaugh’s vote was locked in as soon as he was totally falsely accused of sexual assault by those liberal women) but I’m betting Sammy the Papal Bull thought, “why take a chance?”

A more neutral view was taken by David Lat:

It makes sense to me that Justice Kavanaugh’s vote was never really in play. When the final Dobbs opinion came down, it was strikingly similar to Justice Samuel Alito’s initial draft, with hardly any changes except for the addition of responses to the joint dissent of the three liberals and the concurrence of Chief Justice Roberts. In other words, Justice Alito didn’t have to make any substantive concessions or stylistic tweaks to keep the vote of Justice Kavanaugh (who was instead content to make his conciliatory comments in a concurrence). This suggests to me that within the Court, the ultimate outcome of Dobbs was never seriously in doubt, and it confirms my earlier view that the leaker wasn’t trying to affect the vote through leaking.

So I adhere to my original theory about the SCOTUS leaker (hereinafter “The Leaker”). First, The Leaker was a law clerk, not a justice and not a permanent staffer. Second, The Leaker was—in the words of the AP article, summarizing the dueling theories—“someone who was so upset by the prospect of overturning Roe that informing the public at the earliest possible moment was of paramount importance.”

I’m still voting lefty-law clerk. Until proven otherwise.


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Just confirms what everybody already knew.

That Roberts was a piece of shit who drew the whole saga out for MONTHS because he was hoping one of the actual conservatives would break and not overturn it.

I have no idea other than I know that CNN lies about everything.

A liberal judge leaked it


Once the “investigation” is complete, who is responsible to give the findings to the public? Would the Biden admin ask / order the findings be withheld?

Mostly, I expect the entire event to be memory holed. The silence in / of itself suggests to me it was a liberal justice/clerk. The Dems and MSM would be screaming from the rooftops if it were a conservative – no doubt to justify court packing or some other nonsense – at least arguing that it undermines the integrity of the court. Not if it’s a liberal though.

    Whatever leftist clerk leaked it (if not one of the two birdbrain justices (Sotomayor and Kagan), did us all a favor and cut John “Espteined” Roberts off at his ratty knees.

Colonel Travis | July 26, 2022 at 11:55 pm

Paul Campos: “Alito himself leaked the draft, to lock in Kavanaugh….”

Right, because Alito has a history of not just uncouth behavior, but behavior that corrupts the very institution he’s been a part of since 2006. There’s no way he could persuade Kavanaugh in a conference or any other traditional way, like every other justice has done in the history of this country. You know FOR A FACT that no clerk could ever do something this profound and damaging, but Alito can. Evidence? None. And this man teaches people to become lawyers?

Good Lord…

Everyone on both sides would have known the left would go crazy and try to assassinate some judges if Roe was overturned. That being the case, no one on the right would risk their majority by releasing this early. There was no conceivable upside to doing so.

But I will say this. The left knew whose home to be outside of, and they knew who to threaten. All of that says that information of who might be wavering made it out with the draft opinion. So it was definitely a leftwing op. And we know it was one of the two ditzy leftwing women who are sitting as justices or one of their clerks who did it. That is as certain as the sun coming up in the East.


Worst part, we will never know is my guess, because it’s from a Leftist.


Of course this comletely misses the point that Beer Chugger was a locked in vote?!?!

Although Roberts would be a logical suspect based on his squishiness regarding the Constitution, I have a hard time believing he would risk getting caught and how damaging that would be to SCOTUS. Besides, he surely would have known the violence it would trigger from the leftists including peril to himself and fellow justices. I just don’t see him as being sinister. So it would have to be someone on the fringes who got access somehow to the documents.

Anyone who has any life experience would understand that you never know for sure that someone is trustworthy, particularly if their treachery is a one-off that was planned ahead of time for that very purpose. I don’t know how that is investigated without expanding the scope of the investigation to include everyone in the department. There are ways to prevent someone from getting away with it by making subtle differences among all authorized copies so it could be determined whose copy was leaked e.g.

Something tells me there is no interest to find out who is responsible. Calling in this FBI would only raise more doubt about a cover-up.

    taurus the judge in reply to Pasadena Phil. | July 27, 2022 at 8:04 am

    I said it in the thread way back so I guess I need to stick with it still because I have not seen anything to convince me otherwise.

    I believe it was in fact Roberts who leaked it. I started off not thinking that but when I look at not only Robert’s overall decision making but his “rationale” -he becomes “more likely than not” as a driver in this.

    I could just as easily be wrong too- just a guess.

      I can’t wrap my head around Roberts leaking this. Once it’s out there, he doesn’t get any individual protection from the blow back. Neither does his family. He would not have been thinking about threats from the pro-lifers but from the pro-deathers and they wouldn’t be making a distinction that protects them. It would also set him up for impeachment and arrest. I can’t buy it.

      I have a problem blaming any of the justices, even the liberals. The chance of getting caught are higher than apparent but the consequences are certain. This must be a lower level clerk which I suspect was slipped in as a mole and was prepared to leak and may even have know they would be protected.

      Does anyone know if this marks the end of the investigation?

When trying to figure out who committed a massive breach of trust and ethics, always look to the left. The leftier, the better.

With that in mind, the simplest and most likely offender is one of the leftist judges. My money is on the one who just retired. He had the least to lose.

The media trying to color one thing as another?! Tell me it ain’t so (sarcasm). The media is so openly biased now, that you have to assume it’s fake. I saw a Yahoo news article trying to claim that an entire police force resigned because the town manager was black. The real story is that she was a radical progressive who wants to defund the police and they would have lost their jobs anyway.

The draft and final majority opinion are nearly identical. Certainly no concessions made to gain votes. Roberts clearly wanted a watered down opinion and likely went to Kavanaugh to attempt to gain that but was rebuffed.

Given that, why would any of the 5 leak? No benefit. Why would Roberts? Short term a leak would put pressure on Kavanaugh via lefty protests. Long term he would damage personal relationships among the Justices and the staff.

The risk reward ratio for one of the six conservatives to leak doesn’t make sense. Nor really for any Justice. For a lib/prog clerk who is a true believer of abortion? Sure, this is the same sort of ‘resistance’ we saw during the Trump Admin; ideological staffers who disagree using leaks to damage or derail the process of change.

“Multiple sources told CNN that Roberts’ overtures this spring, particularly to Kavanaugh, raised fears among conservatives and hope among liberals that the chief could change the outcome in the most closely watched case in decades. Once the draft was published by Politico, conservatives pressed their colleagues to try to hasten release of the final decision, lest anything suddenly threaten their majority.”

See this here? This paragraph conveys a scenario that is an outright lie. CNN didn’t get “multiple sources” for any of this, because any such discussions are as a matter of long practice, done in private. They leave the kiddies out of those discussions. They do that precisely to avoid the present problem, where some self-important fool of a clerk might try to cement his or her prospective political position by a premature publication of the court’s deliberations.

CNN has such a poor record due to its fantastical reporting that the piece, like the rest of its reporting, should be read as entertainment.

The_Mew_Cat | July 27, 2022 at 9:49 am

We don’t know who leaked it and if the leaker was clever, we may never know. I’m sure they know which copy was leaked. But how that copy got out is another question. For example: Way back in college I was leaked a confidential personnel document as it was left on the floor under a computer terminal, and I held onto it for 2 months before making good use of it when the fall term started – forcing a bad professor to resign. I will never know which college official left it near the computer terminal, but I am sure it was intentional.

Steven Brizel | July 27, 2022 at 10:29 am

David Lat at Original Jurisdiction has written the best two articles about the leaker . Must reading

harleycowboy | July 27, 2022 at 10:57 am

Each jurist gets a different copy that is slightly altered but not enough to change the opinions. The leaked copy will reflect this and point to the soutce.

CNN follows orders.

CUI BONO? Who Benefits?
In my opinion, none of the Justices did, right or left.
Hence, I assume it to have been a radical lefty working there, so ignorant of how the system actually works, ( like all the left Justices as well), that they thought they could upend it.
It screams of “STUPID”, a hallmark of the Left.