Lawmakers Plan to Renew Push to Criminalize Supreme Court Leaks

January 20, 2023

Rep. Mike Johnson and Sen. Bill Cassidy, both Louisiana Republicans, announced they planned to reintroduce their bills from last term criminalizing Supreme Court leaks.

The announcements followed Thursday’s disclosure by the Court that following a months-long investigation the Marshal of the Court had failed to identify the source of the May 2022 leak of the draft ruling to overturn Roe v Wade and 50 years of the Constitutional right to abortion.

Johnson’s legislation would provide for a five-year maximum imprisonment while under Cassidy’s provision a Supreme Court employee could face up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine if found guilty leaking a draft opinion.

Court workers could also face prison time if they leak certain employee communication or the “personal information” of Supreme Court Justices that “is not otherwise legally available to the public,” Cassidy’s bill stated.

“This is important and needed legislation since it was mentioned multiple times in the Marshal’s report,” Cassidy said in a statement Thursday.

Congress has already passed some legislation in response to the leak. In June the House passed a Senate bill to expand Supreme Court Police protection to the Justices’ family outside of Washington.

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