Before the January 6 incursion at the Capitol, how many of you knew that the grounds had their very own police force? I’m guessing if you didn’t, it came as no shock. After all, this is the seat of our government, or at the very least our legislative process, and therefore requires protection.
Similarly, you might not know that the U.S. Supreme Court also has its own police force, complete with law enforcement agents and officers. The Marshal of the Supreme Court heads it up. According to Fox News, that title is currently held by Colonel Gail A Curley, who was appointed last May.
In a media statement made at the time, the High Court noted that it is Curley’s job to “server as the Court’s chief security officer, facilities administrator, and contracting executive.” Her job description includes the management of some 260 or so employees, including the Supreme Court Police Force. It was further noted that the primary task of these employees is to provide “security for Justices, Court staff, visitors, the building, and surrounding grounds.”
However, Chief Justice Roberts just added a new task for Curley and her employees, and that is to conduct a thorough investigation into just who leaked the now-infamous Roe draft opinion and how it was done.
If you hadn’t heard, the Supreme Court is currently deliberating over a case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, that could very well result in a nearly complete overturn of Roe v. Wade. This case made abortion legal on the federal level in the U.S.
While the Court has not made a decision yet, a document was leaked recently, a “draft opinion,” that seemed to imply that the justices were, in fact, leaning in the direction of overturning Roe and possibly making abortion illegal, or at the very least a decision that each state and not the federal government should make.
According to the document, Justice Samuel Alito and four other conservatives wrote in their opinion that Roe v. Wade was “egregiously wrong from the start” and that its logic was “extremely weak.”
Naturally, the “leak” has caused some rather massive problems.
First and foremost is that the case is still ongoing and represents a “breach” in both security and ethics. And it is for this exact reason that Justice Roberts is issuing a demand that Col. Curley finds out who committed this “betrayal of confidences of the Court.”
Now, to be clear, leaking such information is not exactly illegal, at least not by itself. After all, as Roberts explained, these “draft opinions” are common for just about any case, and, in this case, at least, they don’t contain any classified information. But as Reuters reported, to get access to such information, an “ancillary crime” may have been committed, such as hacking a computer or obtaining unauthorized use of one.
And should that individual be a practicing lawyer or employee of the Court, it goes against pretty much all ethical rules and codes of conduct, which means such an individual could end up being disbarred or have their license to practice law revoked if convicted.
As University of California, Berkeley law professor Orin Kerr told the outlet, “This is the most egregious violation of confidentiality for a staff member or employee of the court that you can imagine.” And it will not go unpunished if Roberts or seemingly anyone else has any say in the matter.
Good thing for Roberts, Col. Curley answers directly and only to him and the Court he presides over.
In any case, and possibly because of Curley’s investigation, Roberts is confident that this betrayal will not succeed in “undermin(ing) the integrity of our operations. The work of the Court will not be affected in any way.”
Of course, it does complicate things a bit. This is mostly because additional pressure will now likely be placed on the Supreme Court itself and Congress to ensure that ‘opinion’ isn’t kept. And the fact that rioting, pro-abortion mobs in places like Los Angeles have also popped up.
The Court will do well to take care of this investigation quickly and apply punishment immediately, for the sake of the Court’s decision-making process, if nothing else.