Conservatives blame Ketanji Brown Jackson for Supreme Court leak – but there's a big problem with their claims
Ketanji Brown Jackson (AFP)

If you thought the right-wing attacks on incoming Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson would end with her confirmation to the nation's highest court, you were wrong.

Months after her confirmation, Newsmax host Grant Stinchfield is back to baselessly targeting Jackson. On Tuesday, he suggested that Jackson was responsible for the recent leak of the court's decision on Roe v. Wade.

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"I find it suspect that the first leak coming out of the Supreme Court in history comes shortly after Judge Jackson is confirmed," he said. "I want to know if her law clerks, who I am sure have already been hired, possibly even working at the high court already before her swearing in, have access to these draft decisions."

Jackson, he insisted, is "capable of undermining the court" and should be the "first suspect."

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Stinchfield, by his own admission, has no evidence of such a claim. And how could he? Jackson will not be sworn in until Justice Stephen G. Breyer's retirement this summer. She has no access to the Supreme Court computer network. And the leaked draft ruling for Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization was circulated on February 10 — before Jackson was even nominated to the court.

Stinchfield's accusation is merely the latest in a series of Republican attempts to shift focus from the ruling's destructive impact on abortion access to the identity of the leaker.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stated that the leak was "yet another escalation in the radical left's ongoing campaign to bully and intimidate federal judges and substitute mob rule for the rule of law," The Washington Post reported.

And Ted Cruz asserted to reporters that the leaker had to be a liberal because, in his words, "I'm not a moron, because I live on planet Earth."

"This is the most egregious breach of trust at the Supreme Court that has ever happened," he said. "Presumably, some left-wing law clerk angry at the direction the court is going decided to betray his or her obligation, the trust that clerk owed to the justice and to the court."

According to the right-wing website Daily Caller, Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn predicted that "the left starts pushing Justice Roberts to seat Judge Jackson because they are trying to push the balance of the court. They're trying to pack the court. They're trying to expand the court."

The morning after Politico's release of the Supreme Court document, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. requested an investigation into the leak. Legal experts say that disclosing the document may not be a criminal offense. It could, however, warrant a charge of theft of government information.

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In February, Republicans lobbed a series of baseless accusations against Jackson during her confirmation hearings. Senator Tom Cotton said Jackson was "sympathetic" to a "drug fentanyl kingpin." Senator Lindsey Graham questioned Jackson's ability to fairly judge a Catholic and railed on her supposed leniency toward sex offenders. And Ted Cruz made a bizarre attempt to critique Jackson and critical race theory. Pointing to a children's book called "Antiracist Baby," he proclaimed, "Do you agree with this book that is being taught with kids that babies are racist?"