Supreme Court Marshal Gail A. Curley issued a statement Friday afternoon correcting an apparent omission in his report released Thursday about the May 2 leak of a draft ruling in the abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Institute. Curley’s initial report said the source of the leak had not been determined and that all court staff had denied being leakers and had signed affidavits to that effect. No investigation by the justices was mentioned.
(Note: The Supreme Court photo was created when the leak occurred in May 2022. Justice Breyer retired at the end of the 2021-22 session on June 30. The Dobb decision was released on June 24.)
Curley’s statement Friday clears up the omission but suggests that justices are not held to the same standard as court staff:
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For immediate release
January 20, 2023
Marshall Gail A. Curley’s statement:
During the course of the investigation, I spoke to each of the Justices on several occasions. The judges actively cooperated in this revision process, asking questions and answering my questions. I followed up on all the credible leads, none of which involved Justices or their spouses. On this basis, I did not believe it was necessary to ask the justices to sign the sworn affidavits.
BREAKING: Supreme Court Marshal Curley questions justices about leaks, finds no reason to implicate him or his spouses pic.twitter.com/HzD1XAf4dm
— Greg Stohr (@GregStohr) January 20, 2023
Excerpts from the initial report:
The investigation determined that it was unlikely that the court’s information technology (IT) systems had been improperly accessed by an individual outside the court. After examining the court’s computer devices, networks, printers, and available call and text logs, investigators found no forensic evidence indicating who disclosed the draft opinion. They conducted 126 formal interviews of 97 employees, all of whom declined to reveal their opinion. Despite these efforts, investigators were unable to determine at this time using the preponderance of the evidence standard the identity of the person(s) who disclosed the draft majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Institute. Or how the draft opinion was provided to Politico. Investigators continue to review and process some of the electronic data collected and some other inquiries pending. To the extent that additional investigation yields new evidence or leads, investigators follow up on them.
…At the conclusion of the initial interviews, each employee was asked to sign an affidavit under penalty of perjury stating that he or she had not disclosed the Dobbs draft opinion to any person not appointed by the Supreme Court, had not disclosed to any person not appointed by the Supreme Court, had not made public any information related to the Dobbs draft opinion through means authorized by the Court, and had not disclosed the Dobbs draft opinion to anyone. Has provided all relevant information known to him or her in connection with the disclosure or publication. Each employee was asked to swear to the truth of the statements in the affidavit before a notary public. Each of these employees
Signed the affidavit. Few of the interviewees admitted to telling their spouses about the draft opinion or vote count, so they annotated their affidavits to that effect. If investigators later lie to investigators, that personnel is subject to prosecution for perjury in violation of 18 USC § 1001.
Curley was appointed marshal in 2021. Supreme Court Press Release:
For immediate release
May 3, 2021
Colonel Gayle A. Curley has been appointed as the new Marshal of the Supreme Court of the United States. She becomes the eleventh court marshal and the second woman to hold the position. He succeeds Pamela Talkin, who retired on July 31, 2020, after 19 years as marshal. Colonel Curley is expected to assume his new duties on June 21, 2021. As marshal, Colonel Curley serves as the court’s chief security officer, facilities manager and contracting executive, managing approximately 260 employees, including the Supreme Court Police Force, which provides security for justices, court staff, visitors, the building and surrounding grounds. Colonel Curley calls the Supreme Court to order during argument sessions, maintaining order and decorum during court proceedings.
Colonel Curley comes to the court from the U.S. Army, where he headed the National Security Law Division in the Office of the Judge Advocate General. He oversaw a team of judge advocates, led the strategic engagement program for the Judge Advocate General Corps, and provided legal advice and support on national security law to senior military leadership. From 2016 to 2019, Col. Curley was a staff judge advocate at Headquarters U.S. Army Europe in Wiesbaden, Germany, where he served as the senior U.S. Army attorney for a region encompassing 50 nations and supervised more than 300 legal professionals. He has held a variety of leadership and legal positions over his military career in multiple locations, including Germany, Afghanistan, and the continental United States.
Colonel Curley received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the United States Military Academy in 1991 and his JD from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1999. He received a Master of Laws degree from The Judge Advocate General Legal Center and School in 2004 and a Dwight D. He received a Master of Science from the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy.