Washington, DC – The U.S. Supreme Court announced on Thursday that it had been unable to identify who leaked the draft opinion of the ruling that ultimately overturned Roe v. Wade in June of 2022.
The Supreme Court said in an unsigned statement on Jan. 19 that investigators had followed up on all leads and performed forensic analysis but that “the team has to date been unable to identify a person responsible by a preponderance of the evidence,” NBC News reported.
The lengthy investigation, which was headed up by Supreme Court Marshal Gail Curley, was mostly limited to the Supreme Court building and those who worked there at the time of the leak.
The report on the investigation showed that the Supreme Court had some security problems that needed to be addressed, NBC News reported.
Some employees admitted they had discussed the draft opinion on the controversial Mississippi ruling that indicated the justices were planning to overturn with their spouses.
The report said the justices themselves were not investigated and the probe focused on permanent employees and law clerks, NBC News reported.
Curley said that investigators had interviewed 97 court employees who all denied being the leaker.
The marshal also said the investigation had determined it was unlikely the court’s information technology systems were hacked, NBC News reported.
“No one confessed to publicly disclosing the document and none of the available forensic and other evidence provided a basis for identifying any individual as the source of the document,” Curley wrote in her report.
“If a court employee disclosed the draft opinion, that person brazenly violated a system that was built fundamentally on trust with limited safeguards to regulate and constrain access to very sensitive information,” the court’s marshal added.
The report said the court had also consulted former U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on the investigation, NBC News reported.
Chertoff concluded the investigation was sound but said there were a number of immediate measures the Supreme Court could take to improve its security going forward.
He said the investigation conducted by the court was thorough, NBC News reported.
“At this time, I cannot identify any additional useful investigative measures,” Chertoff said.
Protests erupted in front of the nation’s highest court last May after someone leaked the draft opinion in a controversial Mississippi abortion rights case.
The draft ruling indicated that a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court justices were planning to vote to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling established in 1973, NBC News reported.
On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court released its actual opinion on the case and put an end to Constitutional protections for abortions that have been in place since 1973.
The court voted 6-to-3 to uphold Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks, Bloomberg reported.