House Republicans introduced legislation that would make it a federal crime punishable by imprisonment to leak confidential documents from the Supreme Court.

The legislation, introduced by Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana Tuesday and backed by 12 other Republican sponsors, comes less than a month after a Supreme Court draft opinion leaked to the press signaled the curtailing of abortion access established under Roe v. Wade.

"The institution of the Court has been damaged, and we must do what we can to try to repair it," Johnson said in a statement.


Republicans backing the measure are seeking to punish any officer or employee of the high court who is "knowingly publishing, divulging, disclosing, or making known in any manner" confidential materials, including draft opinions, internal notes, and final opinions that were learned by employment at the Supreme Court.

“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," Johnson said. "The institution of the Court has been damaged, and we must do what we can to try to repair it.”

Johnson's proposal comes just hours after new information regarding the court marshal's investigation was revealed. Three unnamed sources with familiarity surrounding the investigation told CNN Tuesday that law clerks are required to provide cell phone records and sign affidavits.

The Supreme Court has not said if or whether the leak stemmed from a clerk. Sources familiar with the investigation also did not say whether the probe covered other employees from within the high court.


Following the leak of the Dobbs v. Women’s Health Organization draft opinion authored by Justice Samuel Alito, more than a dozen Republican lawmakers called for a criminal investigation into the leak, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who implored the Justice Department to pursue criminal charges.

However, the Supreme Court has not called on the DOJ to investigate the leak.

"The unprecedented leak of the draft Dobbs v. Jackson was an attack on democracy, and we must fight to never have this type of obstruction to the rule of law happen again," said Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), one of the 12 supporters of the measure alongside Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX).