William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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THE DISGRACE – OVERNIGHT: All news desks were cleared as soon as it happened.  The Politico, generally an online publication of the left, published Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's private draft of a proposed Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

It had never happened before.  In all the history of our Supreme Court there has never been a leak of a proposed ruling. The leak is an insult to all Americans who believe the Court must operate to the highest judicial standards, and not be simply a political football.

It was clear from the leak that the Court, as of now, intends to overturn Roe, the famous (or infamous) 1973 decision making abortion legal throughout the United States.  Drafts, however, are subject to review, rewriting, and rethinking. The secrecy of the draft process protects the Court from mob rule and even threats to the justices.  Respect for that process has been sacrosanct...until tonight.

Clearly, the leak is an operation of the left, an attempt to create mob action against the proposed ruling, perhaps hoping that one justice would be frightened enough to reverse his or her stand, thus leaving Roe in place. And, of course, we immediately saw, after the Politico story, demonstrators appearing at the Supreme Court building to scream in protest.  And we heard the usual suspects at MSNBC and CNN going berserk, predicting the end of civilization as we know it.  All of The New York Times is on a suicide watch.

Of course, there is speculation over the identity of the leaker.  The individual should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.  At least that's what rational people think.  But the criminal is already being hailed as a hero or heroine in leftist circles, a brave soul, the ultimate whistleblower. I wouldn't be surprised if the little star got a ticker tape parade down Broadway.

But who is the leaker? And this should be read as speculation.  The general feeling on the part of sources I trust is that the leaker is clearly on the left, and is either a clerk of one of the justices, or...incredibly, a justice.   Great movie, right?  Only justices and their law clerks have access to drafts of opinions.

There are three liberal justices – Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor.  Recently confirmed Ketanji Brown Jackson will join the Court upon Justice Breyer's retirement.  Could the culprit be a clerk for one of these three liberals?

Some authorities say it's unlikely that a clerk is guilty.  They argue that clerks are young, at the start of their professional lives, and would know that, if caught, their legal careers would be over.  

A justice? Could it be?

Most of the speculation I've read tonight surrounds Justice Sonia Sotomayor.  She is known to be a rebel, and has chastised the Court on many occasions. She also has a considerable ego, referring to herself as a "wise Latina" during her confirmation hearings. And she is a militant liberal.

No one believes retiring Justice Breyer would do such a thing.  He is a picture of propriety.  Ditto Justice Kagan.  No, the name Sotomayor is being floated.

Again, speculation, but I thought you'd be intrigued.  We may learn more today.  I'll be following the story.  This is a big one, with implications for the November election.  But we can't be sure what those implications will turn out to be.

May 2, 2022