Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch has confirmed that the high court’s internal investigation into the unprecedented May leak of a draft opinion in the case that overturned Roe v Wade is ongoing — and that he expects a report soon.
“The chief justice appointed an internal committee to oversee the investigation,” Gorsuch said Thursday at a conference in Colorado for judges and attorneys of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“That committee has been busy and we’re looking forward to their report, I hope soon,” he added.
Gorsuch did not indicate whether the results of the probe would be made public.
Gorsuch, like other justices, has said he believes the draft of Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was made public in order to influence the court to uphold its 1973 decision implementing the right to abortion nationwide.
“Improper efforts to influence judicial decision making, from whatever side, are a threat [to the judicial process],” said Gorsuch, adding that the disclosure could reduce the candor of communication between justices in the run-up to decisions.
“I very much hope we get to the bottom of this sooner or later,” the justice went on.
Chief Justice John Roberts ordered an investigation into the leak soon after the draft was published by Politico, but the court has been tight-lipped on the probe’s progress.
Gorsuch’s comment in Colorado is the first public comment on the investigation by a sitting justice.
The court’s decision in Dobbs — to overturn Roe and return the issue of abortion rights to each of the 50 states — was issued June 24. The majority opinion — authored by Alito and which Gorsuch joined — was nearly identical to the leaked draft.
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