Roe v. Wade leak: Uphill battle to find and punish leakers

Chief Justice John Roberts ordered the court marshal to investigate the breach of security that led to the publication of the draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade. But true to course, Roberts offered no details about the workings of the investigation, the legality of the leak or possible punishments for the leaker or leakers. (The New York Times, May 4, 2022, by Michael D. Shear and Zolan Kanno-Youngs with contributions by Glenn Thrush)

While conservatives are keen to find and punish those responsible for the leak, it is not clear if the leak was a crime. There is no federal law criminalizing a leak of a draft legal opinion and the opinions are not classified. There is a law forbidding the theft or misuse of government “things of value,” but it is not clear if information is included. (Wired, May 3, 2022, by Andy Greenberg)

Those responsible for the leak might face some serious consequences, losing jobs or law licenses, but unlikely to go to jail if they had legitimate access to the draft opinion. (The Washington Post, May 3, 2022, by Matt Zapotosky)

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