Investigation of Citizens Above Suspicion
Scenes from the High Court
Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court’s internal investigation into who leaked a draft of the opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that had established a constitutional right to abortion, included interviews with all nine justices, the marshal of the court said in a statement on Friday.
The clarification by the marshal, Gail A. Curley, who oversaw the inquiry, followed widespread speculation over its scope. In a 20-page report on Thursday, Ms. Curley disclosed that the investigation had not turned up the source of the leak while leaving ambiguous whether it had extended to grilling the justices themselves.
But in a statement on Friday, Ms. Curley said she had interviewed them.
— “Supreme Court’s Inquiry Into Leak Included Interviews With Justices,” New York Times
[Office of JUSTICE THOMAS. THOMAS at desk in Hawaiian shirt and khakis; MARSHAL GAIL A. CURLEY, in a plain dark-blue business suit with tasteful floral pattern button-down shirt and no tie, on the other side, consulting a steno pad.]
CURLEY: Justice Thomas, can you think of anything…
[A thump is heard; GINNI THOMAS, wearing what looks like a ballgown, pokes her head out of a nearby closet, goes “Psst!” to CLARENCE THOMAS; when she has his and CURLEY’s attention, taps her lips with her index finger, then withdraws, closing the door with some difficulty.]
THOMAS: Mice. The place has mice. Been trying to fix it for years. Anyway, I think you should ask the Puerto Rican.
+ + +
[Office of JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR. SOTOMAYOR at desk in striped sweater, black jacket, and black skirt; CURLEY seated on the other side, consulting a steno pad.]
CURLEY: Now, Justice Sotomayor, when did you first become aware–
[Suddenly the door flies open and JUSTICE ALITO, in his court robes, comes rushing in, manic.]
ALITO: Don’t fall for it! You think I don’t know what’s going on? I read the papers! Bunch of malcontents trying to make out like I leaked my own decision. Why the hell would I do that? I suppose you think I did it to put the Chief in a bind, right, fix it so he couldn’t get me to water it down like in Casey. Well, I got news for the two of you —the Chief loves it! It’s exactly the kind of barn-burner he wanted to shut this whole thing down once and for all. We dreamed about this, him and me and the Federalist Society and the Catholic Church, how we were going to tell you ladies that it doesn’t matter how many votes you have or how many polls you win, you’re gonna keep squeezing out babies the way Jesus Christ intended, and now the moment has finally come but you’re trying to spoil it for me, make me look like a common crook! Well, you can all kiss my ass, you hear me, you can just —
[ALITO freezes; he’s staring at a digital camera on a tripod aimed at CURLEY and SOTOMAYOR.]
Are you filming this?
SOTOMAYOR: [Quietly] We’re on a live feed with Miss Grace Taylor’s American Government class at Crispus Attucks High School in Racine, Wisconsin.
[ALITO runs up on the camera, glares into it.]
ALITO: Alright, everyone within the sound of my voice, this is Justice Sam – Cyrus Esposito, a new Justice on the Supreme Court, now I’m absolutely brand new, just got here this morning, they snuck me in the back, so you have never heard of me but look here, I’m still a Supreme Court Justice, right, and all my statements except what I say in court are confidential, so you are not allowed to repeat them, you hear me? To anybody! It’s a federal crime! So just act like this never happened and, and, and doesn’t exist, because — because —
[Pause. ALITO grabs the camera as if he would take it, then drops it and runs out of the room.]
[from outside:] I WAS NEVER HERE!
+ + +
[CURLEY slowly crosses the Supreme Court library, which appears to be empty, looking at her steno pad. Someone goes “psst.” CURLEY stops, looks around, apparently sees nothing, resumes her walk. Suddenly GINNI THOMAS, wife of JUSTICE THOMAS, wearing a black leotard and tights and black ballet shoes, leaps in front of CURLEY and strikes a cat-burglar pose.]
CURLEY: Mrs. Thomas! Whoa, I didn’t see you there. Were —
GINNI: Let’s cut to the chase, Marshal!
[GINNI reaches into her décolletage and fishes around for about seven seconds before giving up. She seems a bit tipsy.]
I’ll have one of the messengers bring it to you. No! There are spies everywhere. You’ll find it in your office, tonight. Never mind how!
CURLEY: Mrs. Thomas, can you tell me what —
GINNI: Can’t talk! The walls have ears.
[She draws closer to CURLEY, speaks in an urgent stage whisper.]
But! It concerns some of the clerks around here. Full dossiers. I observe their movements. Facts! And motive, plenty of motive. Politics is what it is! A plot!
CURLEY: So you have evidence that clerks, or a clerk, had possession of the draft and removed it without authorization?
[GINNI stares at her, then chortles.]
GINNI: Come, come, Marsha, I mean Marshal. You think they’d leave evidence? That’s for amateurs. These are seasoned professionals. Black ops. Bounty hunters.
CURLEY: I thought you said they were law clerks.
GINNI: I’m not one to tell you your business, Marshal, but there’s only one way with these people. See, they don’t believe in anything, not in God, or country — certainly nothing they’d be willing to die for. So you put the fear of God into them. The fear of death. You put ‘em in a room — a small room with bright lights. Make it hot for ‘em. Let ‘em know you know. And that you know they know that you know they know you know they know. And no one’s comin’ out of there until you have a signed confession — whatever it takes.
CURLEY: Well. I look forward to getting your notes, Mrs. Thomas.
GINNI: [Frostily] Oh. I see. Deep State. Sure. Who cares. Don’t make waves. Just go through the motions and everything’s fine. [Shouts] COVER UP!
[GINNI pokes CURLEY in the chest.]
Well you just wait’ll the Red Wave, sister! We’ll have these little shits in Gitmo and there’s nothing you can do about it!
[GINNI attempts to cartwheel away, but crashes into a desk, knocking over and smashing a banker’s lamp.]
CURLEY: Mrs. Thomas!
GINNI: [From the floor, weakly] So this is how it ends — right here — at the Court — right under their noses — [She puts up a hand] Don’t! Don’t try it! Stay away, assassin! I have Life Alert!
[CURLEY steps back, then walks briskly out of the room. Pause. GINNI gets up, dusts herself off. Plaintively but quietly as she limps away:]
Clarence. Oh, Clarence. Momma needs some love.
+ + +
[Office of JUSTICE KAVANAUGH. KAVANAUGH at his desk, wearing business casual, but with a Yale t-shirt under his blazer; CURLEY seated on the other side, consulting a steno pad. The door to the office is open.]
KAVANAUGH. That was a pretty ordinary day, too. No sessions. Came in here around 10, had coffee, looked at some briefs, did a little… Listen, Gail, I’m just not —
KAVANAUGH: Ah — funny name for a woman! Heh. Kidding. Marshal. Marshal, look, I’m just not comfortable talking about this with the door open. There are things I could tell you — sensitive things — but not like this, where just anybody can see and hear.
[Pause. KAVANAUGH stands.]
Really, it should only take a few minutes.
[CURLEY stands, walks to the door.]
CURLEY: Have your secretary arrange a time and we can meet on a bench in Senate Park. It’s not crowded this time of year. No one will be able to hear us. Unless one of us yells. Good day, Mr. Justice.
[CURLEY leaves. Long pause.]
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LOL, first-rate. The only change I'd make is Alito should tear off his judicial robes to reveal a giant hot dog costume while loudly declaring they were all trying to find the guy who did this. And maybe Kavanaugh should be drinking a beer.
I have awaited this report since I saw the update from the Court.