Prosecute the Supreme Court Leakers

The leak of a draft Supreme Court advisory opinion to a Politico reporter in May was a historic betrayal of the bank. Investigators are reportedly taking steps to obtain phone records and affidavits from the judiciary’s legal staff. If the tidbit turns out to be a paralegal, he or she is so ethically compromised that a career in the legal field is almost certainly unattainable. Most commentators agree that federal law does not criminalize such court leaks. We see things differently.

Working in the chambers of a federal judge — whether on the Supreme Court or elsewhere — is considered the best first job a law school graduate can get, and with good reason. Thousands of highly qualified law students typically apply for a single college place. The job allows entry into an elite circle and promises professional doors and credibility in the career of the new lawyer. But that honor comes with the solemn institutional expectation that what happens in the Chambers stays in the Chambers. Judge Antonin Scalia had a reputation for being outspoken. He warned incoming law clerk classes that he would “do anything [his] Power” to “ruin” the career of a legal clerk who has exposed his confidentialities. Prosecute the Supreme Court Leakers

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