There is no reason this should be taking this long. Whether it is phone records, printer records, email correspondence, or anything else, no stone can be left unturned in the quest to identify the Dobbs leaker. This should have been obvious from the get-go — right on May 3, when Roberts formally designated Curley to lead the probe. Every citizen concerned about the Court’s standing in our constitutional order — every citizen who agrees with Chief Justice John Marshall’s famous dictum in 1803’s Marbury v. Madison that “it is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is” — should be crying foul and demanding answers.
If Curley knew at the outset of the probe that more manpower was required, she should have said so and called for backup. More to the point, in the context of investigating an unprecedented leak in the history of a venerable two-century-plus-old institution, it should not have taken Curley four weeks to discern that acquiring phone records just might be a good idea.
Roberts’ wariness about widening the probe to include not merely Curley and her direct underlings, but other federal governmental actors such as the FBI, is understandable but misplaced. Again, it is impossible to overstate the debilitating nature of this leak. If the leaker is not identified and punished — ideally disbarred and publicly shamed to no end — then future prospective leakers will only be incentivized and emboldened. And the metastasis of a leak culture within the Court’s halls would represent nothing less than the death of the Court as an institution.