Republican lawmakers introduce bill that would criminalize Supreme Court leaks

Republican lawmakers introduce bill that would criminalize Supreme Court leaks

A group of Republican lawmakers have introduced a new bill that would criminalize the leaking of information from the United States Supreme Court after a bombshell draft opinion leak that revealed the high court may be preparing to overturn Roe v Wade.

The twelve GOP lawmakers introduced the “Leaker Accountability Act of 2022,” this week in the House of Representatives that would prohibit anyone from “knowingly publishing, divulging, disclosing, or making known in any manner” any information obtained through employment at the Supreme Court. Under the bill, the punishment for leaking Supreme Court information would be up to 5 years in prison.

House Republican Conference Vice ChairmanMike Johnson (LA), who led the bill, said of the Leaker Accountability Act, “This legislation is now, unfortunately, a necessary step to discourage future such attempts to intimidate justices during their deliberative process and restore independence to the Court so that it can ensure the American people are afforded equal and impartial justice under the law.”

“The unauthorized leak of the draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health constitutes a grave breach of judicial ethics and a deliberate attack on the independence of the Supreme Court,” Johnson said of the recent SCOTUS draft opinion leak.

The Supreme Court took the unprecedented step in its investigation of the leaker this week, requiring law clerks to provide their cell phone records and sign affidavits, according to inside sources who spoke to CNN. Some of the clerks have reportedly begun considering seeking outside counsel over the matter as they fear intrusion upon the personal activities of law clerks.

The new bill would make any future SCOTUS leaks criminal, but would not apply retroactively to any previous leaks, such as the May leak of the Dobbs opinion.

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