Supreme Court clerks 'alarmed' at aggressive leak investigation and are pondering seeking outside counsel: CNN
Cheif Justice John Roberts (Photo by Brendan Smialowski for AFP)

According to a report from CNN's Joan Biskupic, the Supreme Court's aggressive search for who leaked an early draft of Justice Samuel Alito's majority opinion that reportedly will overturn Roe v. Wade has clerks working for the court lawyering up.

The report states that the clerks who serve at the pleasure of the justices are being asked for the cell phone data, as well as being asked to sign affidavits, as an investigation into the leak to Politico back on May 3 moves forward.

That leak set off days of outrage by the pro-choice movement that their greatest nightmare was about to come true, and by the anti-choice side of the aisle who were furious that the first draft was leaked and could be rolled back in some ways because it became public.

According to the report, Chief Justice John Roberts has made good on his threat to launch a full-scale investigation into the breach of trust, and that has civil liberties advocates alarmed at the efforts the court is reportedly taking.

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Biskupic reports, "Lawyers outside the court who have become aware of the new inquiries related to cell phone details warn of potential intrusiveness on clerks’ personal activities, irrespective of any disclosure to the news media, and say they may feel the need to obtain independent counsel."

One attorney familiar with the proceedings told her, "That’s what similarly situated individuals would do in virtually any other government investigations. It would be hypocritical for the Supreme Court to prevent its own employees from taking advantage of that fundamental legal protection.”

CNN notes that a clerk accused of leaking the draft would likely see their legal career derailed after landing a prestigious clerkship, before adding, "Sources familiar with efforts underway say the exact language of the affidavits or the intended scope of that cell phone search – content or time period covered – is not yet clear."

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