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Top Court Leak Threatens Judicial Decision-Making, Gorsuch Says

Sept. 8, 2022, 10:11 PM

US Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch called it “terribly important” for the court to identify who is responsible for leaking a draft of its blockbuster abortion decision last spring.

“Improper efforts to influence judicial decision-making, from whatever side, from whomever, are a threat to the judicial decision-making process and inhibit our capacity to communicate with one another,” Gorsuch said Thursday at the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit’s bi-annual Bench & Bar Conference.

The opportunity for judges to hear from their colleagues informally about their initial ideas is an invaluable part of the process, he said.

Gorsuch’s appearance comes a day before Chief Justice John Roberts is scheduled to speak at the same event. Roberts called the leak “absolutely appalling” during a conference in Atlanta in May just days after Politico published a draft of the majority decision authored by Justice Samuel Alito that showed the court was planning to overturn the constitutional right to abortion created by Roe v. Wade.

Gorsuch told a ballroom of over 200 people that the internal committee that Roberts appointed to oversee an investigation into the leak has been busy.

“We’re looking forward to their report I hope soon,” he said.

Gorsuch sat on the Tenth Circuit for over 10 years before President Donald Trump appointed him to the Supreme Court in 2017.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lydia Wheeler in Colorado Springs, Colo. at lwheeler@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Seth Stern at sstern@bloomberglaw.com; John Crawley at jcrawley@bloomberglaw.com