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Press Release Published:May 3, 2022

Comer, Oversight Republicans Call for DOJ Investigation into Leaked SCOTUS Draft Opinion

WASHINGTON — Today, House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) and Oversight Committee Republicans called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to immediately launch an investigation into the leaked draft opinion on a matter currently pending before the United States Supreme Court. In their letter to Attorney General Garland, the Republican lawmakers emphasized how this unprecedented leak undermines the integrity of the Supreme Court and our nation’s entire judicial system. To ensure the integrity of the Supreme Court and the protection of its deliberative process, the Republican lawmakers also request Attorney General Garland provide all documents and communications regarding any investigation initiated by the Justice Department and a description of all laws potentially violated by leaking a draft opinion.

“We write to request that the U.S. Department of Justice immediately initiate an investigation into the leaked draft opinion on a matter currently pending before the United States Supreme Court,” wrote the lawmakers. “The circumstances of the leak indicate the draft opinion’s release was not accidental but deliberate and calculated. It stands to reason it was intended to affect either the ultimate outcome of the case or the public’s reaction to it. Whoever is responsible for this breach must have known that the draft opinion would foment discord and upheaval, potentially pressuring Justices to reconsider their votes through threats or intimidation. Whatever the reason, this leak undermines the institution of the Court; it also serves to potentially intimidate and manipulate its members, threatening the integrity of one of the three branches of the U.S. government.”

“Leaks of internal deliberations between Justices threaten the integrity of the judicial branch, and therefore our republican system of government. The judicial process requires Justices to deliberate internally and candidly with each other without concern those deliberations may become public. Leaks, for whatever reason they occur, erode the integrity of the institution by undermining the working relationship between Justices, their clerks, and other employees of the Court, damaging the open exchange of ideas, and permitting pressure campaigns against Justices. As the Constitution sets forth, ‘[t]he judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.’ This flagrant attack on the Supreme Court, the pinnacle of the judicial branch, threatens to delegitimize and undermine our nation’s entire judicial system. Therefore, targeted and immediate congressional oversight is of the utmost importance,” concluded the lawmakers.   

Read the letter here.