Breaking Down Joan Biskupic’s Latest Reporting On The Dobbs Leak
Here we are, one month after Dobbs. The leaker has not yet come forward. Indeed, we have no clue who the leaker may be. David Lat suggests that the Politico reporters may not even know who the leaker is! I was patiently waiting for something, anything, from Supreme Court reporters that would shed light on this issue. And, this morning, Joan Biskupic of CNN published a piece titled “The inside story of how John Roberts failed to save abortion rights.”
A preliminary note on sourcing. Biskupic relies on “multiple sources familiar with negotiations told CNN.” This sourcing is similar to her 2020 reporting, which relied on “multiple sources familiar with the inner workings of the court.” I find it remarkable that anyone with inside information would talk to Biskupic after the massive leak investigation. I think it is safe to presume that Biskupic’s sources are people who are not subject to the leak investigation. Perhaps the Justices made some comments to friends, who then relayed the information to Biskupic.
There are three primary strands of Biskupic’s reporting. First, Chief Justice Roberts tried to persuade Justice Kavanaugh to join his middle position, and save Roe. Second, the leak made it harder for the Chief Justice to operate. Third, after the leak, Roberts’s efforts were unsuccessful. Nothing here is particularly earth-shattering.
The biggest reveal does not concern the leak itself. Rather, Biskupic reports on Justice Kavanaugh’s vote at conference:
Kavanaugh had indicated during December oral arguments that he wanted to ove
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