Supreme Court probe fails to find abortion ruling leaker

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Abortion rights demonstrators protest outside the United States Supreme Court as the court rules in the Dobbs v Women’s Health Organization abortion case, overturning the landmark Roe v Wade abortion decision in Washington, U.S., June 24, 2022. 

Jim Bourg | Reuters

An investigation into who leaked a bombshell Supreme Court ruling overturning the federal constitutional right to abortion weeks before it was officially released failed to identify the culprit, the court said Thursday.

Politico in May reported that a leaked draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito showed that the Supreme Court was poised to overturn its five-decade-old ruling in the case known as Roe v. Wade, which found there was a constitutional right to abortion.

The following month, the Supreme Court did just that, with a majority opinion penned by Alito, a member of the conservative supermajority on the court.

On the heels of the leak, Chief Justice John Roberts directed the marshal of the court to investigate who released the draft opinion to Politico.

“In following up on all available leads … the Marshal’s team performed additional forensic analysis and conducted multiple follow-up interviews of certain employees,” the Supreme Court said in a statement Thursday.

“But the team has to date been unable to identify a person responsible by a preponderance of evidence,” the court said.

The statement said that after the investigation was completed, the court invited Michael Chertoff, a former federal judge and prosecutor, and one-time secretary of Homeland Security, to assess the probe.

Chertoff “has advised that the Marshal ‘undertook a thorough investigation’ and, ‘[a]t this time, I cannot identify any additional useful investigative measures’ not already undertaken or underway,” the court said.

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