NPR’s Totenberg says leading theory is draft leaked by conservative clerk

FILE - The Supreme Court is seen at dusk in Washington, Oct. 22, 2021. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Jan. 7, 2022, on challenges to whether the Biden administration can order millions of workers at private companies and health care employees be vaccinated for COVID-19. Until the court rules, millions of workers face a patchwork of requirements depending on where they live. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

FILE – The Supreme Court is seen at dusk in Washington, Oct. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

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UPDATED 2:04 PM PT – Monday, May 9, 2022

NPR Supreme Court reporter Nina Totenburg claimed the leading theory on the origin of the high court draft leak is a conservative clerk. While speaking to the press Sunday, she voiced that the leak is unprecedented in the history of the court.

Totenburg stated that in previous decades little leaks about tentative votes or judicial misconduct would emerge, but never a whole draft opinion. Her belief is that it was a clerk for a conservative justice to try and keep the right leaning justices from caving to Chief Justice John Roberts and upholding Roe.

“Perhaps one of the clerks and the leading theory is a conservative clerk,” she suggested. “Who was afraid that one of the conservatives might be persuaded by Chief Justice Roberts into joining the much more moderate opinion.”

Totenburg went on to say, it is highly unlikely the identity of the leaker will ever be known. Meanwhile, experts are divided on the origins of the leak, but most agree it was a clerk and not one of the justices themselves.

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