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Hyde-Smith Cosponsors Stop Supreme Court Leakers Act

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Sen Cindy Hyde-Smith
Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith during a subcommittee hearing March 11 2020. (Photo courtesy Sen. Hyde-Smith)

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) joined U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) to introduce legislation that would criminalize individuals who leak confidential information from the Supreme Court of the United States.

The Stop Supreme Court Leakers Act would impose a $10,000 fine and up to a 10-year prison sentence on those who leak confidential information from the Supreme Court.  Additionally, the measure would authorize the seizure of profits derived from the leak which could include book deals or cable television contributor contracts.

“The egregious leak of a draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health harmed the Supreme Court as an institution, particularly if that betrayal was done to intimidate justices or influence the outcome of the case,” Hyde-Smith said.  “Anyone who chooses to leak confidential information from the highest court in our land should be held accountable, and that’s precisely what this bill seeks to accomplish.”

“The recent leak was an attempt to publicly intimidate justices and undermine the integrity of the Court—all while putting lives at risk,” said Dr. Cassidy, who authored the bill.  “My bill holds leakers accountable and takes away any hopes of profiting off their crimes.”

“You shouldn’t receive a badge of honor or financial reward for leaking confidential documents from one of our nation’s most sacred institutions – you should face serious penalties,” Rubio said.  “The leak of a draft opinion of Dobbs not only undermined the integrity of our judicial system, but also continues to spur threats of violence against Supreme Court Justices and crisis pregnancy centers.  This bill would ensure that leaked confidential information from the Supreme Court is a criminal offense.”

The Stop Supreme Court Leakers Act (S.4455) criminalizes leaks of the following information:

  • Internal notes on cases heard by the Supreme Court.
  • Any communication between the Chief Justice of the United States or an associate justice of the Supreme Court and an employee or officer of the Supreme Court on a matter pending before the Supreme Court.
  • A communication between officers and employees of the Supreme Court on a matter pending before the Supreme Court.
  • A draft opinion or a final opinion prior to the date on which such opinion is released to the public.
  • Personal information of the Chief Justice of the United States or an associate justice of the Supreme Court that is not otherwise legally available to the public.
  • Any other information designated to be confidential by the Chief Justice of the United States.

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