Ex-Supreme Court Clerk Laura Ingraham Condemns Leaker's 'Naked Attempt' to 'Hijack the Court's Deliberative Process'

(CNSNews.com) – “This is one of the most destructive things that I can ever imagine to happen to our legal system,” a furious Laura Ingraham told her Fox News viewers Monday night, after Politico reported that the Supreme Court may have voted to strike down Roe v. Wade and return abortion decisions to the states.

Politico said it “obtained” a leaked copy of the “initial draft majority opinion” written by Justice Samuel Alito. It’s not known if the leaked draft is indeed the court’s final opinion, which was expected to be released in June.

Ingraham, who once clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas, said an “inviolable” line has been crossed by someone at the court with a leftist political agenda:

“I want to say this very clearly tonight,” Ingraham said. “No matter what you think about this outcome, the leak itself represents a shocking and unprecedented breach of the court’s confidentiality, which is sacrosanct.

“And it’s key to the courts ability, on any issue, to engage in the give-and-take and all the decision-making that’s required to reach these decisions based on legal principles, based on the Constitution — not because of political pressure. That’s what the legislature does, not the court.”


Here is the rest of Ingraham’s opening monologue:

“And those who clerk at the court, especially the law clerks, they are afforded a tremendous privilege. Think about it. To work at the court, to learn from the justices. But the inviolable deal that you strike when you accept that clerkship, which is the most coveted thing you can have as a young lawyer, is that you swear confidentiality regarding everything you see and everything you hear. And especially the internal deliberations of the court — especially that.

“It is not up to a law clerk to decide when the decision of the court will be announced. And it is not up to a law clerk or any employee of the court to leak a decision in what is a naked attempt to try to change the outcome before the final opinion is issued.

“Now why am I so passionate about this tonight? I actually know what I’m talking about. A lot of people on television tonight don’t know what they’re talking about. I was a Supreme Court law clerk. And I know, because I saw it. Opinions go back and forth, drafts of opinions go back and forth. Language changes. Sometimes, sometimes even votes might change. May be a justice will see an argument he or she didn’t think of. It’s rare, but it does happen.

“But this is all done confidentially to encourage this free exchange of ideas that’s always deemed by everyone — it doesn’t matter what your political background is, it doesn’t matter. It’s deemed essential to the proper functioning of our nation’s highest court.

“Now Chief Justice Rehnquist, in our orientation session at the court, said to all of us — so there are nine justices, four clerks for each chamber, usually. About 36, and then a couple of the retired justices still have clerks, you know, that are still at the court. But it’s not that many young people, right, it’s about 36, 40 young lawyers.

“He looked at us and he said, if you leak anything from this court, you can kiss your legal career bye-bye. Done. Yes, we remember that.

“And through the entirety of the court’s history, no matter how controversial or disruptive the court’s decisions have been, and I’m talking decades — decades of decisions on freedom of religion, rights of criminals, same-sex marriage. None of those draft opinions ever leaked. You know why? Because everyone in the building understood that was a line that could be never crossed.

“And it is a sad commentary that someone in that building took it upon himself or herself to totally usurp the role of the justices and hijack the court’s deliberative process. This was a bald-faced attempt to tip the balance of the vote one way or another. Now, we know which way.

“The leaker undoubtedly hopes, right, that this leaked opinion will drive activists to the court’s doors. Remember, they were desperately banging on the doors during Bret Kavanagh’s confirmation hearing. And they think that’s going to have an impact, with all the activists outside screaming, all the colorful signs — that’s going to have some impact that will have one of the justices in the majority change his or her vote.

“But once again, it looks like the left will just smash an established government process to get their way. Do anything in their power to stop a principled, conservative majority from issuing a ruling on a pending case. This leaker is going to be sorely disappointed and should be immediately discovered and disbarred.”

The Supreme Court did not immediately comment on the reported leak of the draft majority opinion.


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