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Hypocritical Supreme Court contradicts their own ruling in hunt for Roe v. Wade leak.
By Curt_Anderson
June 8, 2022 4:27 pm
Category: Law

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(CNN)Supreme Court officials are escalating their search for the source of the leaked draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, taking steps to require law clerks to provide cell phone records and sign affidavits, three sources with knowledge of the efforts have told CNN.

Nina Totenberg of NPR reported this morning that SCOTUS is violating the Fourth Amendment:

"Taken steps to" doesn't mean that anything has actually happened. But if the clerks have been asked to sign an affidavit, it is unknown what is in the affidavit or will be in the affidavit. And while the leak of a draft opinion is in fact a huge ethical breach, the draft is not classified, so the leak is not a crime. That said, lying in a sworn affidavit is.

So, imagine you swear under oath that you didn't have anything to do with the leak, and it turns out that your former college classmate is a reporter, and you had dinner with him in April prior to the leak; you could be in a heap of trouble. So, indications are that some law clerks are lawyering up. And some justices may forbid cooperation with a probe they see as a witch hunt.

Not to mention that if the court can dump information from a clerk's cellphone without a warrant, that directly contradicts the Supreme Court's own ruling eight years ago when it said that police could not search a suspected gang member's phone without a warrant after he was pulled over in a traffic stop.

Roberts wrote the court's unanimous opinion, saying that modern cellphones are not just another technological convenience. They are a compendium of everything in a person's life — your political preferences, interests, hobbies, medical records, where you have been and with whom.

"Allowing a warrantless search of all this information is not just an incidental intrusion like a peek into a cigarette pack," he said in summarizing the opinion from the bench. "It is a significant invasion of privacy."

The Fourth Amendment, he noted, was the Founders' response to the reviled "general warrants" of the colonial era, which allowed British officers "to rummage through homes in an unrestrained search for evidence of criminal activity."

A cellphone search, without a warrant, the court concluded, is no different.

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Comments on "Hypocritical Supreme Court contradicts their own ruling in hunt for Roe v. Wade leak.":

  1. by Donna on June 8, 2022 4:43 pm
    I would expect nothing less from the right-wing freaks on the Supreme Court. It wouldn't surprise me if it was all a charade to give the appearance that they themselves weren't the source of the leak.

  2. by HatetheSwamp on June 8, 2022 4:47 pm

    Okay. Now I'm sure. po DID hijack Donna's page.

    "Right-wing freaks." A classic po-ism.

  3. by Donna on June 8, 2022 4:57 pm
    LOL! I just showed Sheri what you posted and we had a good laugh. Sheri never uses that term. What you've been noticing is that I decided to pull out all the stops and let it fly. My good cop shtick was geting old and was boring me. I'm happy you noticed.

  4. by Curt_Anderson on June 8, 2022 5:03 pm
    The clerks of the Supreme Court are the best and brightest. These are not stupid people. If one the clerks was the leaker (my money is still on Ginni Thomas) they'd be smart enough NOT to send a messages to a reporter electronically.

    Washington is an insular town. Politicians, reporter, lawyers all mingle at the same watering holes and form friendships. A forensic examination of their phones would not necessarily reveal anything even if some clerk told a reporter, "thanks for dinner last night...did I leave my bra at your place?"

  5. by Donna on June 8, 2022 5:09 pm
    I like your Ginni Thomas theory, and if she was indeed the leaker, I think the wingnut justices know about it.

  6. by Curt_Anderson on June 8, 2022 5:26 pm
    Right. Ginni Thomas is known political operative. Republicans benefit more from the leak than do Democrats. By the time the actual decision is announced, it won't be news. The pro-choice voters were revved up when it was leaked.

    The pro-choice voters will be going through the seven stages of grief. They had their moment of shock and anger. It's hard to sustain that sort of heightened emotion. By time the November elections happen they will be in a depressed or resigned stage.

  7. by HatetheSwamp on June 9, 2022 10:28 am

    I didn't read the NPR article. My stomach's not strong enough. But, if this, from CNN, is accurate:

    Some clerks are apparently so alarmed over the moves, particularly the sudden requests for private cell data, that they have begun exploring whether to hire outside counsel.

    There's nothing illegal and certainly not hypocritical about that.

    It's a normal thing for police,, to "request" people to provide fingerprints, DNA, etc., for the purpose of eliminating them from an investigation.

    That's usual and very legal.

  8. by Curt_Anderson on June 9, 2022 10:53 am
    Let's just say the Supreme Court's "request" for clerks' cell phone data is stupid. If a clerk is the culprit, he or she wouldn't implicate themselves by turning over any cell phone evidence that might reveal that they were the leaker.

    The other clerks meanwhile have had their privacy invaded. Not to mention that some innocent activity might tend to cast them in a bad light.

    Yes, SCOTUS can request clerks turn over their phones. However, anything more than a "request" could be regarded as coercion or threat, which is illegal. All these clerks have expectations of having lofty legal careers. Defying a request from Supreme Court justices is a career killer.

    By the way, the list of possible culprits is a lot longer than just the justices' clerks. It includes various SCUTUS office workers, spouses, family members, the justices themselves, etc.

  9. by HatetheSwamp on June 9, 2022 1:02 pm

    Check with your son.

    What I said that the practice is common and legal.

    My sense is that, if you're a clerk and you're innocent and you want to do what you can to empower the integrity of the court, you'll do all you can to assist in identifying the culprit.

    Did I suggest anything stronger than a request?

    the list of possible culprits is a lot longer than just the justices' clerks. It includes various SCUTUS office workers, spouses, family members, the justices themselves, etc.

    I doubt that.

    And, again, I can't help but chortle when the guy here who never met a pandemic shut down or mandate he didn't like, squawks about people having privacy invaded.

  10. by Curt_Anderson on June 9, 2022 1:46 pm
    I will make a prediction about this leak. We, the public, will never know who leaked. I don't believe that the SCOTUS will ever uncover the leaker, but even if they do, they won't do anything (like firing a clerk) that reporters would notice.

    That's because of three things:
    1. The SCOTUS's investigation won't reveal anything. Leaking might be firing offense, but it's not a crime.
    2. If it was a clerk, he or she would be smart enough not to leave any tracks (digital or otherwise).
    3. I still have Ginni Thomas at the top of the suspect list.

  11. by HatetheSwamp on June 9, 2022 2:02 pm

    Ginni Thomas. Bahahahahahahahahahaha. I can't help but think there's some racism in you Swampcultists' obsession with the Thomases.

    I agree that it's unlikely that the leaker will be found.

    If s/he is, I imagine the name will be announced and that's all.

  12. by Curt_Anderson on June 9, 2022 3:23 pm
    Ginni Thomas is white.

    My suspicions have nothing to do with anybody's race. Ginni Thomas cajoled and colluded with Trump cronies in schemes and efforts to overturn the election. That's Aaron Burr territory in America's history of anti-democratic traitors.

  13. by HatetheSwamp on June 9, 2022 3:34 pm

    Ginni Thomas is white, married to a conservative black man.

    I don't believe for a moment that the progressive Swampcultists' obsession with the Thomases has nothing to do with racism.

  14. by Curt_Anderson on June 9, 2022 3:37 pm
    The public knows nothing about the other Supreme Court justices' spouses. Of course they were not at the Stop The Steal rally.

  15. by HatetheSwamp on June 9, 2022 3:48 pm

    How many hundreds of thousands attended that rally? Do you really want me to think Curt knows where all of the Supreme Court spouses were that day?

    I've been careful not to accuse you of being one of the progressive Swampcultists obsessed with the Thomases due to racism. But, clearly, you are obsessed.

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