'Unseemly': Legal experts blast Supreme Court for not formally investigating justices in leak probe
Legal experts are serving up steep criticism after the Marshal of the Supreme Court released a carefully-worded statement late Friday afternoon following the highly-criticized report that claimed the investigation into the leak of the draft Dobbs decision was inconclusive, and the leaker remains at large.
Marshal Gail Curley’s statement says she “spoke with” the justices, but adds she did not think it necessary to have them sign sworn affidavits attesting they had nothing to do with the leak. As several experts note, it appears clear the justices were not subjected to the same intense investigative process as everyone else known to have access to the draft document before it was leaked.
Attorney and writer Luppe B. Luppen, criticizing the investigation, observed: “It should be made clear that the investigative report included a description of a ‘formal interview’ process for 97 personnel, conducted by investigators, with preparatory research, warnings about consequences, and an essentially obligatory oath under penalty of perjury.”
“The investigative report mentions none of this process applying to the Justices,” he adds. “Today’s statement from the Marshal studiously avoids the word interview, it refers only to conversations she had, and it says the Marshal decided the Justices didn’t need to swear the same oath.”
Top national security attorney Mark S. Zaid also had strong criticism for the investigation: “Absolute credibility of Supreme Court is on the line w/this leak. That the Justices (and family members) were not investigated or asked to execute sworn affidavits undermines the integrity of the leak investigation & will forever taint the failure to reach conclusions.”
MSNBC anchor Lawrence O’Donnell was blunt in his criticism.
“So not only was the Supreme Court investigation incompetent, the report was deliberately inaccurate by hiding Justices’ participation,” wrote O’Donnell. “Why didn’t they question political extremist agitator Ginni Thomas?”
Trial lawyer Max Kennerly pins the blame on Chief Justice John Roberts:
“Outrageous for Chief Justice Roberts to try to dump this on the Marshal by making her put out a statement implying she’s some sort of special prosecutor with independent discretion. This is his circus, the Justices weren’t investigated because he didn’t want that.”
Legal journalist Cristian Farias appeared disgusted with the latest development, writing: “Looks like the marshal of the Supreme Court applied a different investigative standard to the justices than she did all other court employees. Equal justice under law, etc.”
Vox’s legal exert, Ian Millhiser, author of The Agenda: How a Republican Supreme Court is Reshaping America, tweeted: “It is unseemly that the closest thing that the United States has to actual kings and queens did not subject themselves to the exact same investigation that they imposed on their servants.”
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