Still No Justice for the Dobbs Leaker
One year later, our federal government’s failure to find the leaker sends an encouraging message to future leftist leakers.
Today, May 2, marks the one-year anniversary of the most damaging event in the history of the United States Supreme Court.
Surely you remember. Former Obama administration Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal called it “the equivalent of the Pentagon Papers leak.”
assisting the leaker breaking the news, Politico gushed, “No draft decision in the modern history of the court has been disclosed publicly while a case was still pending.”
The Supreme Court watchers at SCOTUSblog took a forward-looking view: “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.”
Ah, yes, “the gravest, most unforgivable sin.”
We’re talking, of course, about that unprecedented attack on our nation’s third branch of government. We’re talking about the leak of a draft of Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a landmark abortion case that wouldn’t be decided until late June.
The leaked draft, though, made clear what the Court’s decision would be: the glorious and long-overdue undoing of that half-century-old judicial abomination known as Roe v. Wade — a decision heralding a win for the babies, a decision that even the generally leftist pope respected.
More important, the leak gave those on the Left two months to stir up outrage in the hope of causing one or two swing justices to reconsider their decision. In this respect, the leaker failed. But in another respect, the leaker was wildly successful, for it gave those on the Left a two-month head start in organizing and mobilizing and stirring up the outrage necessary to get out the vote in November’s midterm election — an election in which a widely predicted Republican wave ended up being little more than a middling mud puddle.
The leak, Justice Alito reflected to The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto, “created an atmosphere of suspicion and distrust. We worked through it, and last year we got our work done. This year, I think, we’re trying to get back to normal operations as much as we can. … But it was damaging.”
Damaging? Ya think?
It brought out The Mob to terrorize the justices and their families at their suburban DC homes. This went on day after day after day, with Biden Attorney General Merrick Garland — to his eternal disgrace — refusing to enforce the law and either send the rabble packing or arrest them.
In fact, the leak made Alito and his fellow constitutional conservatives on the High Court targets of assassination. One of his colleagues, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, came chillingly close to being murdered by a deranged young leftist.
As we noted earlier this year, Chief Justice John Roberts immediately called the leak “an egregious breach of trust,” and he called upon the Marshal of the Court to find out who leaked the document to Politico. We were told that investigators conducted more than 120 interviews of nearly 100 employees, all of whom — wait for it! — denied disclosing the draft opinion.
And that’s pretty much where things stand today, a year later.
“I personally have a pretty good idea who is responsible,” says Alito about the identity of the leaker, “but that’s different from the level of proof that is needed to name somebody.” He also dismissed a crackpot theory that a conservative trying to lock in five justices to overturn Roe may have been responsible for the leak, calling the idea “infuriating.”
“Look,” he said, “this made us targets of assassination. Would I do that to myself?”
Today, as a target of assassination, Justice Alito says he feels safe largely because he’s “driven around in basically a tank, and I’m not really supposed to go anyplace by myself without the tank and my members of the police force.”
And, so, what’s become of the perpetrator of that “gravest, most unforgivable sin”?
Nothing. Not a thing. For an attack on one of our country’s fundamental institutions — on its methods and processes, on the trust factor that undergirds the institution itself — nothing. For this blatant undermining of the Rule of Law — nothing. For calling into question the legitimacy of our third branch of government, with polls showing a decline in respect for the Court since the Dobbs decision — nothing.
But the worst part of the Roberts Court’s failure to find and punish the person or persons responsible isn’t the corrosive damage it’s done to the culture of trust within the High Court. It’s the certainty that such a breach will happen again.
And the message from all this? Leak away, lefties. Your federal government might come forth with a serious-sounding harrumph or two, but it won’t lift a finger to bring you to justice.