Chief Justice John Roberts called on the recently appointed Supreme Court marshal, Col. Gail A. Curley, to investigate the leak of a draft opinion in an abortion case before the high court.
Best known as the person who announces the entrance of justices each session with the words, “Oyez, Oyez, Oyez," Curley is now given the high-priority task of investigating the leak of a draft opinion in Dobbs v. Women’s Health Organization. The draft decision, authored by Justice Samuel Alito, signals justices are prepared to return the question of abortion's legality over to the states.
Appointed as the high court's 11th marshal on May 3, 2021, Curley's key responsibilities include maintaining the court building, notifying attorneys of their time limits, and keeping time during argument sessions. She is also charged with doling out the salaries of the chief justice and associate justices.
SUPREME COURT LEAKER COULD BE DISBARRED BUT LIKELY WON'T FACE CHARGES
"As Marshal, Col. Curley will serve as the Court's chief security officer, facilities administrator, and contracting executive, managing approximately 260 employees, including the Supreme Court Police Force, which provides security for the Justices, Court staff, visitors, the building, and surrounding grounds," the Supreme Court wrote in a press readout before her June 21 appointment.
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.
While court marshals provide general security to the court, they also have the authority to make arrests over violations of state or federal law. However, any decision on prosecution would likely come from the Department of Justice.
The origin of the draft opinion leak is still very much unknown and speculative. Many court watchers have suggested the documents could have been made public by a court clerk or someone who works in the Supreme Court.
Legal experts told the Washington Examiner on Tuesday the DOJ is capable of taking on the matter, though someone within the court will most likely simply be fired or disbarred as a consequence of the leak, assuming it came internally.
"There are certain agencies where disclosure of confidential information is actually a crime, like national security information, but I'm not aware of anything like that in the Supreme Court in terms of disclosing confidential information," said Omar Ochoa, an attorney based in Edinburg, Texas.
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Curley's background includes a stint as a staff judge advocate at Headquarters, U.S. Army Europe in Wiesbaden, Germany, between 2016 and 2019. She was also a senior U.S. Army attorney and has supervised more than 300 legal professionals.
The Washington Examiner contacted the DOJ and the Supreme Court Public Information Office for more details regarding the investigation.