Supreme Court officials are ramping up their investigation of the leaked draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, CNN reports.
Investigators have taken steps to require law clerks to turn over cell phone records and sign affidavits, according to the report.
Some clerks are “so alarmed” that they have begun mulling whether to hire outside counsel.
The move is “unprecedented” and highlights how seriously the court is taking the leak. It also suggests that the court has been unsuccessful in finding the leaker.
Chief Justice John Roberts met with law clerks as a group after the leak. He ordered the investigation into the leak on May 3.
The investigation is led by Gail Curley, the court’s marshal.
Curley, a former Army colonel, oversees the police at the Supreme Court.
Should clerks lawyer up?
Legal experts warned that the unprecedented intrusiveness may require clerks to hire lawyers.
"That's what similarly situated individuals would do in virtually any other government investigation," an appellate lawyer told CNN. "It would be hypocritical for the Supreme Court to prevent its own employees from taking advantage of that fundamental legal protection."
Numerous Supreme Court insiders had access to Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion.
The draft was circulated among the justices, their clerks, and staffers and administrators.
If normal channels were used, the draft would have been accessible to nearly 75 people. It is unknown if the draft may have been circulated to others.