Often on the Supreme Courtroom, the one quantity that issues is 5. Or so Justice Brennan (allegedly) mentioned. However with respect to the leak investigation, the magic quantity is 97. In response to the Marshal’s report, “97 personnel” had been interviewed for a complete of “126 formal interviews.” Apparently, “many” personnel–not more than 29–had been “interviewed greater than as soon as.” How can we depend as much as 97? We are able to speculate.
The report identifies two classes of personnel: “non permanent (legislation clerks) and everlasting staff.” I don’t assume the 9 Justices could be included within the class of “everlasting staff.” Certainly, it doesn’t appear possible that the Justices had been even interviewed.
In OT 2021, there have been a complete of 37 legislation clerks. Every of the 9 lively Justices had 4 clerks, plus Justice Kennedy had one clerk who was possible (although not confirmed) detailed to one of many chambers. (Lately, the Kennedy clerk frolicked within the Gorsuch and Kavanaugh chambers). These numbers would recommend that there have been 60 everlasting staff who had been interviewed.
The report states that “along with the Justices, 82 staff had entry to digital or laborious copies of the draft opinion.” Once more, if we assume there have been 37 legislation clerks, then there have been 45 everlasting staff who had entry to the opinion. However we all know that 60 everlasting staff had been interviewed. So roughly 15 everlasting staff, who didn’t have entry to the opinion, had been nonetheless interviewed by the clerk.
The report explains how the draft opinion was circulated:
On February 10, the draft opinion was despatched by way of electronic mail to a distribution checklist consisting of legislation clerks and everlasting personnel who work on opinions. The vote memos had been additionally subsequently despatched to this checklist.
Earlier than diving into the numbers, I will make a tech remark: electronic mail distribution checklist?! Does the Supreme Courtroom not use a shared-drive with doc entry management? E-mail is sort of presumably probably the most un-secure technique of transmitting data. The Marshal discovered that “[t]he current platform for case-related paperwork seems to be old-fashioned and in want of an overhaul.” Agreed. Again to the numbers.
There have been 70 distinctive, lively customers on the distribution checklist.
If there have been 37 legislation clerks on the checklist, then there have been 33 everlasting staff on the checklist. Earlier, we calculated that 45 everlasting staff had entry to the opinion. Who had been the opposite 12 individuals with entry to the opinion?
The Marshal accounted for 2 of these individuals, who obtained laborious copies:
The draft majority opinion was additionally distributed in laborious copy to some Chambers. The two Chambers personnel who weren’t on the e-mail distribution checklist would have had entry to the circulated laborious copies and to every other copies that had been printed in Chambers.
Who had been these Chambers personnel who would have had entry to the laborious copies, however not the e-mail copies? Maybe a secretary, or judicial assistant? Why do some, however not all Chambers obtain paper copies? I think among the extra tech-savvy chambers are paper free, and are not looking for any paper copies submitting out and in of the workplace.
Greater than a month later, there have been copies circulated to eight extra individuals:
On March 22, eight extra everlasting personnel obtained the draft opinion by way of electronic mail.
This complete doesn’t embody any legislation clerks. Solely everlasting personnel. And the report doesn’t point out these had been “Chambers personnel.” Presumably, these had been individuals exterior the chambers. I am undecided why a draft opinion, that was practically a month outdated, could be circulated at this level to eight extra individuals.
The report signifies two extra everlasting personnel accessed the opinion by “separate means” (unclear what these means had been):
The investigators additionally discovered that two further everlasting personnel accessed the draft opinion electronically by separate means.
The report signifies that 80 personnel, complete, had digital entry to the opinion:
In sum, the investigators decided that 80 personnel obtained or had entry to digital copies of the draft opinion.
And earlier, the report acknowledged that 82 personnel had both digital or laborious copies.
The investigators decided that along with the Justices, 82 staff had entry to digital or laborious copies of the draft opinion
My numbers match the report:
- 37 legislation clerks;
- 33 everlasting staff on the February distribution checklist;
- 2 Chamber personnel who obtained laborious copies;
- 8 everlasting staff who obtained the opinion in March;
- 2 everlasting staff who obtained the opinion by “separate means”
That is a complete of 37 legislation clerks and 43 everlasting staff, for a grand complete of 82 personnel who had both digital or laborious copies.
Once more, 97 individuals had been interviewed. 15 of them who weren’t a part of this batch of 82 personnel. We have no idea who these 15 individuals had been.