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Was Clarence Thomas behind leak of Sup Ct health care decision?

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Just a newsy follow-up to this earlier post on the CBS News report that Roberts switched his vote — as well as to this post about the dissenting opinion itself.

So, who leaked to CBS News that Roberts changed sides? The reporter, Jan Crawford, said she had "two sources with specific knowledge of the deliberations." That can only be justices, their clerks, or their confidants. As Noam Scheiber points out, if the leakers aren't justices, the leakers' careers are over.

Here is Think Progress on that very subject. Their proposed answer — Clarence Thomas (some emphasis and reparagraphing mine):
The biggest revelation in CBS News reporter Jan Crawford’s piece on the Supreme Court’s health care deliberations isn’t that Chief Justice John Roberts originally voted to strike down the Affordable Care Act and then changed his mind — Crawford merely confirmed what many people already expected based on evidence in the opinions themselves.

Rather, the biggest revelation is that fact that, in order for her piece to exist at all, someone inside the Court must have leaked confidential information to her.
Think Progress then quotes Adam Liptak at the Times, who points the potential finger at Clarence Thomas as the leaker:
[T]he possibility that conservatives had victory within reach only to lose it seemed to infuriate some of them. The CBS News report, attributed to two sources with “specific knowledge of the deliberations,” appeared to give voice to the frustrations of people associated with the court’s conservative wing.

It was written by Jan Crawford, whose 2007 book, “Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court,” was warmly received by conservatives.

In a 2009 interview on C-Span, Justice Thomas singled her out as a favorite reporter. ...
Of course, this is speculation; your call on how likely this is. As you make that call, however, remember the hook for the Think Progress story is something in the New York Times. Not nothing.

Think Progress then teases out the implications of this leak:
If Thomas is the leak, that would be a shocking escalation from the justices normal tactics — and one which could have lasting consequences for the future. ...
Click to read why. It matters.

And I'll tease you with the possibility that the second leaker may have been Kennedy — here's why.

I swear, everywhere these conservatives go, there's drama.


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