Marco Rubio bill proposes ‘serious penalties’ for SCOTUS leakers
Rubio. Image via AP.

rubio
'You shouldn’t receive a badge of honor.'

A Florida Senator co-introduced legislation that would impose criminal penalties on those leaking Supreme Court confidential documents, including draft Supreme Court rulings, such as in an abortion rights case finally decided Friday.

Sen. Marco Rubio teamed up with Louisiana’s Bill Cassidy and Mississippi’s Cindy Hyde-Smith to introduce the “Stop Supreme Court Leakers Act.” The bill was a reaction to the unprecedented leak of a draft opinion in the case, which Rubio says was intended to intimidate conservative Justices.

This bill mandates a $10,000 fine and up to 10 years of prison time per count for those who leak confidential opinions, notes, communications, and non-public personal information, such as addresses, of Justices and staff. It would also ban leakers from profiting from their breach of court confidentiality.

“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 legislation comes after weeks of grim warnings about people menacing conservative Justices in the hopes of shaking their draft position in the current Mississippi case testing that state’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks. That measure is a model for Florida law that recently took effect.

“My sense is that this leak was a strategically planned one, designed to get ahead of something and to generate exactly what you’re seeing, primarily to try to intimidate these Justices,” Rubio told Fox Business Network viewers in May, predicting the leaker would be hailed as a “hero on the left.”

Rubio wrote Attorney General Merrick Garland a week later.

“As you know, there is an ongoing, coordinated campaign of intimidation against the majority of the justices on the Supreme Court,” Rubio urged. “The DOJ can no longer remain silent on this issue if it hopes to protect the integrity of the Supreme Court. … Will the DOJ commit to identifying and pursuing criminal charges against those who violate 18 U.S.C. § 1507? If not, why?”

More recently, Rubio was addressing the case of Nicholas Roske, who had lethal weapons and malicious intent when he taxied to Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home early one-morning last week. He contended in a June 15 Fox News interview that if a different Justice were targeted, left-of-center media would take it more seriously.

Rubio argued a double standard is in play with the press: “If the political violence is targeted at people we don’t like on the other side, then that’s OK.”

Last updated on June 24, 2022

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


2 comments

  • John Barron

    June 23, 2022 at 12:41 pm

    Little Marco, desperately struggling for relevance and recognition after having been completely humiliated by Trump and then completely buried by DeSantis.

    Reply

  • Yoosta Sleitliech

    June 25, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    I gave up the idea of anyone being punished because I have come to believe it was deliberately leaked by the court leadership in order to test the waters.

    Reply

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