Leak Probe, Kavanaugh Documentary Show An Unaccountable, Out of Control Supreme Court

New reports about the Supreme Court leak probe and a new documentary about assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh drive home the utter lack of accountability faced by Supreme Court justices. In recent days, the Court admitted that justices never certified anything under oath during the investigation into the leak of a draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade. And a new documentary presents even more evidence that the FBI failed to investigate credible allegations of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh – allegations that have been officially ignored since his confirmation.

Taken together, the events show one reason the Court now has some of the lowesttrust numbers in polling history. Even as they grab more power for themselves, the Supreme Court justices refuse any form of accountability.

Here’s what you need to know about new reports of failed investigations at the Supreme Court:

The Supreme Court marshal gave the justices a free pass during the leak investigation, undermining the credibility of the entire undertaking. After releasing an ambiguous initial report, the Court clarified Friday that the justices themselves were not questioned under oath during a probe into how a draft opinion was leaked last year. All 82 Court staff who had access to the draft opinion signed sworn affidavits that they did not disclose the draft opinion or know who did. Only the justices were never asked to sign such an affidavit – and it’s not clear they were even asked these questions.

  • The exclusion of the justices flies in the face of common sense. During the course of the investigation, the Court received a report of Justice Alito leaking in the past. Other news reports have raised serious questions about Justice Thomas’ relationship with political activity by his wife. And historicallySupreme Court leaks have come from the justices themselves.
  • Experts say not investigating the justices undermined the credibility of the report – and the Court. An expert on government investigations saidthat failure “just completely undermines the court’s credibility.” One former Supreme Court clerk wrote: “No investigation honestly aimed at uncovering the truth would ignore [the justices] as a possibility.”
  • Sources close to the Court are speaking out against the investigation. The New York Times reports that “some employees found themselves questioning the integrity of the institution they had pledged to serve” during the investigation. One court worker told the Times: “It’s hard to imagine any of them suffering meaningful consequences even if they were implicated in the leak.”

A new documentary shows yet more evidence that allegations of sexual assault by Brett Kavanaugh were never properly investigated. A new film debuted on Friday provides yet more proof that evidence supporting sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh was never properly investigated.

  • Tape recordings show allegations of a second incident at Yale that the FBI never investigated. The film features a recording of a tip given to the FBI by Kavanaugh Yale classmate Max Stier describing details of the alleged Ramirez assault and allegations Stier knows “first-hand” of another similar incident. 
  • FOIA responses show the FBI failed to investigate thousands of tips. AP reports: “Through FOIA requests the filmmakers found that there were some 4,500 tips sent to the tipline that went uninvestigated.”
  • The film has sparked new tips. According to an investigative journalist involved in the project, “the film team started hearing from people who had sent the FBI tips before Kavanaugh’s confirmation, which the agency did not further investigate.”