SCOTUS Law Clerk Research Breaking Hot
As you’ll see Will Chamberlain has done some pretty good research. As he says, he doesn’t have proof, but it’s speculation that runs a bit deeper than the, admittedly, very interesting Soto clerk story. But first …
Is it right for people like Chamberlain to be speculating like this? I think it is—anyone who doesn’t like it has only the leaker—and the leaker’s accomplices—to blame. This was inevitable when the leak happened. Anyone who thinks their name was mentioned unfairly is free to deny it.
In line with the essential nihilism of the act itself—so destructive of centuries old institutions, central to our constitutional order, by a single individual—Margot Cleveland points out the callous disregard for co-workers, fellow professionals:
With everyone now digging into history of all the clerks, I hope this point hits the guilty party: They haven't just destroyed S.Ct.'s confidentiality & trust, but have made their innocent colleagues suspect. Really, for the benefit of the innocent libs, guilty one should 1/
2/2 out themselves. Yes, they'll get fired, but they will be the media & the left will beatify them and if Columbia will hire Comey after IG report, the clerk will get the gush law school teaching job as well.
Hans Mahncke adds:
SCOTUS leak is one of those leaks where any principled leaker should've identified themselves from the get go. It's not like the Pentagon Papers or Iraq war crimes–the opinion was coming out anyway. The leaker merely accelerated the process out of purely political considerations.
With that in mind, consider Chamberlain’s deep dive—follow the link for the documentation that I edited out. Here we have the essentials:
Meet Elizabeth Deutsch. She's currently a law clerk for Justice Breyer.
And, in my humble opinion, she's the most likely person to have leaked the draft Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs, purporting to overturn Roe v. Wade.
But first, a disclaimer:
I have no inside information. This thread is speculation, based almost entirely on publicly available information. I could easily be wrong.
Her academic background isn't that uncommon for Supreme Court clerks. Yale undergrad, Yale law, and 2 British Master's degrees, from LSE and Cambridge.
Do note the Master's degree in Gender.
Here's where things start to get interesting. Every law student has to write a note - a long legal research paper, usually making a novel argument about the law.
Elizabeth Deutsch wrote hers about reproductive rights and abortion.
Specifically, she argued that Obamacare's non-discrimination provision should be interpreted to *force* Catholic hospitals to perform "emergency abortions."
Aggressive argument - and hey, law students make aggressive arguments.
While in law school she wrote a NYT op-ed about reproductive rights. Sensing a theme here.
Her career page on LinkedIn doesn't reveal that much...until we start digging a little further.
First, thanks to her NYT wedding announcement (of course), we know that she clerked for judge Nina Pillard.
Pillard was one of the DC Circuit judges appointed by Obama and forced through by Harry Reid blowing up the filibuster.
She's stridently pro-choice. Perhaps not shocking.
After her clerkships, she got a Gruber fellowship at the ACLU for a full year.
What was she working on?
You guessed it. Abortion and reproductive rights.
But none of this proves anything. Yes, Deutsch's career seems pretty focused on abortion. But without some connection to Josh Gerstein (the journalist who received the leak opinion) there would be no reason to suspect her.
Let's go back to that NYT wedding announcement.
"The bride and groom met at Yale. She is a lawyer. He is a journalist.
Isaac Arnsdorf just got hired by the Washington Post as a national political reporter. (Of course he's on the Trump beat).
But where has he written in the past?
Oh, look. He wrote for POLITICO.
SHARING A BYLINE WITH JOSH GERSTEIN.
Looks like Gerstein and they are still bros - chatting on Twitter, interacting as recently as last year.
So, to conclude:
We have a currently-serving Supreme Court law clerk whose career has been almost solely focused on abortion.
She wrote her law school note on abortion.
She wrote op-eds about reproductive rights.
She spent a year working on abortion for the ACLU.
She clerked for a stridently pro-choice appellate judge.
And it just so happens that her husband is a journalist, who shared bylines with Josh Gerstein at Politico, and it looks like they are still buds.
I don't know that Elizabeth Deutsch leaked the draft opinion.
But I certainly think someone who has spent much of their academic and professional life fighting to expand the right to get an abortion could be desperate enough to do so.
Waiting for more candidates. In the meantime …
And this—remember, I said yesterday that it wasn’t apparent that the Marshall for the Court would have much expertise, but that he could call in experts:
Roberts has a crisis on his hands. Unless he acts vigorously the Third Branch will be in meltdown and he will have lost control.