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Supreme Court says justices were interviewed about the leaked draft opinion

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, the day the court released a report on its investigation into a leaked draft opinion in May 2022.
Stefani Reynolds
/
AFP via Getty Images
The U.S. Supreme Court is seen in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, the day the court released a report on its investigation into a leaked draft opinion in May 2022.

The Supreme Court marshal is clarifying the report issued Thursday on her investigation into last May's leak of the draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade.

The court has never been known for its political acumen. That may be why Thursday's report produced some important unanswered questions. Namely whether the justices were interviewed by investigators, or whether they, like others who were interviewed, were asked to sign sworn affidavits.

Now Court Marshal Gail Curley, who oversaw the probe, is answering those questions. In a written statement, Curley said she spoke with "each of the justices, some several times," and that the justices "actively cooperated, asking questions and answering mine.

"I followed up on all credible leads, none of which implicated the justices or their spouses," she said, adding that "on this basis, I did not believe that it was necessary to ask the justices to sign sworn affidavits."

That contrasts with the other court employees interviewed during the investigation. All others who were interviewed were asked to sign sworn affidavits.

The report summarizing the eight-month investigation said the court was unable to identify the person or persons responsible for the unprecedented leak.

Curley's statement is unlikely to quell criticism of her inquiry. But government investigators who have handled other leak inquiries say these probes often turn out to be futile.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Nina Totenberg is NPR's award-winning legal affairs correspondent. Her reports air regularly on NPR's critically acclaimed newsmagazines All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition.

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