Statement of the John Marshall Center for Constitutional History & Civics

The John Marshall Center condemns the betrayal of the Supreme Court’s confidence that resulted in publication by a news organization of a draft opinion in a pending Supreme Court case. Opinions of the Supreme Court of the United States are the highest judicial expositions of federal law. The issuance of opinions on behalf of the Court rather than each individual Justice was institutionalized at the Supreme Court of the United States during the tenure of Chief Justice John Marshall (1801 – 1835). The deliberative process leading up to public issuance of those opinions is one of the Court’s highest functions and one in which confidentiality and trust are essential.