Former Attorney General Bill Barr spoke on Fox News on Wednesday to discuss the Supreme Court’s draft opinion being leaked. He believes the leaker should be apprehended and imprisoned.
‘Grave and Unforgivable Sin’: Bill Barr Says Supreme Court Leaker Should Be ‘In Jail’ https://t.co/nz9SSNBV4z
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The opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, was released by Politico on Monday. It overturns the precedent-setting privacy cases Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the first of which notably established a constitutional right to abortion in 1973.
The court has confirmed the validity of the opinion, and the fact that it was leaked has enraged conservatives.
Martha MacCallum asked, “Do you think this person will be found?” “There’s an argument in some ways that they would like to be found, eventually because they could sort of building a cottage industry off of being the person that leaked this in some aspects.”
Barr’s response was dramatic.
He said, “Well, I hope they build it while they’re in jail.” “Because this is a grave and unforgivable sin. And I think it is likely they’re gonna find out who leaked it. It’s a relatively small group of people that could have done that, and I think the full weight of the law has to be brought against them.”
Legal scholars initially agreed that whoever leaked the opinion did not commit a crime.
“As far as I can tell,” Orin Kerr, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, said, “there is no federal criminal law that directly prohibits disclosure of a draft legal opinion.”
“You could try to create some type of attenuated criminal theory like theft, but it’s not generally viewed as a crime,” said Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University.
“I think there are several federal statutes that potentially cover this, including fraud against the United States, which involves wrongdoing intended to impede the functioning of the government,” Bill Barr said.
“There are also statutes on obstructing or trying to interfere or influence the due administration of justice by committing acts like this. And it could also involve using government documents for one’s benefit, converting government documents. So some criminal statutes were potentially violated here,” Barr concluded.