Superior Court judges cooperated in an investigation into who leaked the draft opinion to the media last year and were cleared as potential perpetrators, Supreme Court Marshal Gail A. Curley said.
Ms. Curley said she did not believe the justices or their spouses were involved in the unprecedented violation that overturned Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court’s abortion decision, and prompted threats and other pressure to influence justice.
“During the investigation, I spoke with each of the judges several times. The judges have actively collaborated in this iterative process, asking questions and answering mine,” Ms Curley said in a statement on Friday. “I followed all credible leads, none of which involved the judges or their spouses. On this basis, I did not think it necessary to ask the judges to sign the affidavits.’
A day earlier, the court released a 23-page report that said it could not determine who circulated the draft opinion in May, indicating that whoever absconded would likely avoid the most unprecedented leak in Supreme Court history.
Judicial observers warned that the leak had caused irreparable damage to the institution. The leaked opinion in the case that overturned Roe — Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health — was the first leak of a full draft opinion in the Supreme Court’s 233-year history.
The 23-page report notes that Ms. Curley, who was tasked by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. with investigating the leak in May, interviewed nearly 100 staffers — 82 who had access to the draft — and conducted a close analysis but was unable to find criminal.
“To date, the team has not been able to identify the person responsible for the overwhelming amount of evidence,” the report said.
However, the report said the investigative team is continuing to review the electronic data.
The warning about the court’s decision on abortion angered pro-choice activists, who began protesting outside the homes of conservative justices.
Since then, the protests have continued.
One of the activists, Nicholas Rosk, came from California to Judge Brett M. Kavanagh’s home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with plans to kill him. Mr. Rosk is currently in federal custody awaiting trial.
Meanwhile, the leak appeared to be genuine: Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.’s opinion in the Dobbs case was clearly reflected in the leaked draft opinion.