May 3, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Top Republicans call for Supreme Court leak probe

Kevin McCarthy and Mitch Mcconnell

Republican leaders Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell. Photo: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

Top Republicans in Congress are calling for an investigation into the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion overturning the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade.

Why it matters: Republicans say the leak is an unprecedented breach of judicial norms, and their focus on the leak shows they're less inclined than Democrats to grapple with the content of the ruling.

  • Democrats have overwhelmingly focused on the ruling itself. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called it "one of the worst and most damaging decisions in modern history" in a joint statement.
  • President Biden didn't address the leak in a statement on the ruling in which he called for Congress to pass legislation codifying Roe v. Wade.

What they're saying: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik said in a joint statement the leak "must be immediately investigated by the court."

  • "Yesterday’s unprecedented leak is an attempt to severely damage the Supreme Court," they said, calling it a "clearly coordinated campaign to intimidate and obstruct the Justices."
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a floor speech the leak should be "investigated and punished to the fullest extent possible."
  • Some, like Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, have said it's a job for the Justice Department.

What's next: Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement Tuesday he has directed the Marshal of the Court, the Court's chief security official, to launch an investigation.

  • Spokespeople for the Department of Justice and FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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