Who leaked the draft abortion decision?

I’m going with “appalled”. And I think the most likely reason for the leak was to help mobilize pro-choice election resources, with – just maybe – a faint hope that the Court might see itself losing legitimacy and public trust. Roberts saw that years ago, during the first activist attempt to overturn Obamacare in 2012. The newly appointed wingnuts don’t give a shit.

I wouldn’t hire a clerk who did it. They’ll have demonstrated that they don’t respect the basic requirement of our profession, which is that clients give us highly confidential information so we can assist them, not betray them.

That’s the oldest trick in the book. You make a big stink about how furious you are and how you are going to personally make sure the mole gets caught so no one suspects that you are the mole.

In all seriousness it seems like Roberts has the least to gain from this. As far as I can tell he’s primarily concerned about the image of the court, and even if we get a middle-ground ruling that leaves some of Roe/Casey in place the court still looks partisan and very conservative - and IMO it’s arguably worse because then you have to wonder how many other seemingly middle-ground decisions carefully disguised the true intentions of the court’s conservatives. It also makes it look like the court is so divided and partisan that all the rules are out the window and people on the inside are willing to fight dirty and fight publicly to get the outcomes they want.

I think it was either a liberal who wanted one of the 5 ostensibly in favor of this ruling to have to either walk back from a ruling against Roe or pay a price in terms of public image for supporting this whatever more diplomatic language is used in future drafts, or it was a conservative who wanted to burn the bridge behind them and keep the 5 from getting cold feet.

This. I’m not going to expand on that comment because it’s a whole other topic and would or might hijack the OP. But suffice to say that for reasons I regard as justifiable I wouldn’t hire such a person.

I think the future for the leaker if they get outed is going to involve quitting their legal career and writing a tell-all book.

OK,. but what “client” had their “highly confidential information” betrayed? None. What was disclosed was the inner workings of the bureaucracy itself, which is not normally a good thing, but which in this case could be argued as support for the enlightened national interest.

Do you also condemn those who disclosed confidential information during the Vietnam era, during the Watergate era, during the second Iraq war, or concerning other misdeeds of the US military which resulted in policy changes or leadership changes in the public interest?

I’ll also add my agreement to this. In my experience as a judge’s assistant, betraying confidentiality in any way was simply unthinkable. I wouldn’t expect to be hired by anyone in the legal profession if it came out I had done such a thing.

The judge who hired them. When you work for a judge, you owe them a duty of confidentiality, backed up by professional standards enforced by law societies.

If they obtained that information on a confidential basis as a lawyer, yes.

It is probably a discussion for another thread but I find it alarming that so many here do not think there is no wrong that could be done that you would not ethically think superseded your obligation of confidentiality.

Definitely a discussion for another thread.

Agreed.

Topic for another thread but can’t let this outrageous strawman stand - nobody here has said “there is no wrong that could be done” etc.

LOL, I was going to say the same thing… in another thread.

“Outrageous strawman?”

Three people in this thread said they would not hire a person who broke confidentiality. They did not qualify that.

I’ll leave this alone in this thread from now on.

It’s 2022’s version of “Deep Throat”, isn’t it.

I’m going to venture a guess that we’ll never find out who the leaker was, unless they were exceptionally stupid, or unless they out themselves.

As for the implication that “there is no wrong that could be done that you would not ethically think superseded your obligation of confidentiality”, yes, a subject for another thread. I’m not going to start it because I’m not big on creating extra work for myself! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

My WAG – Alito himself. From his point of view, his whole legal career has been building to him writing this decision. He obviously threw himself into crafting a full-throated, root-and-branch denunciation of Roe and every legal principle it rests on. He sees this decision as his masterpiece and every turn of phrase in it as essential.

And yet since he circulated it in February, he’s gotten constant pushback from his conservative colleagues to change it. Maybe Kavanaugh wants to limit the scope somewhat, maybe Gorsuch would prefer another legal theory that reaches the same result. Maybe Roberts is still trying to put together a majority for a decision that guts Roe without fully overturning it (the CJ decides who writes the opinion when he’s in the majority).

Fuck that noise. Alito will be damned if he’ll let these Salieris screw up his masterpiece. So he leaks his draft – which he knows will delight conservative activists – to pressure the other conservative justices to get and stay on board with his version.

Devious…I’d love it if it was a Netflix movie of the week and not really happening (I mean the overall circumstances…not that this is necessarily the correct theory…but I like how your mind works).

This actually makes sense.