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Seal, with CM/ECF, of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AO), hacker photo, Seal of the Supreme Court of the United States, AO Director Roslynn Mauskopf photo, blindfolded legal clown photo, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts photo.

Roe v. Wade Was Hacked — Justice Is Blind And IT Incompetent

          October 31, 2022

Sometime between February 2022, when Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito circulated among the justices a draft majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization that overturned Roe v. Wade, and early May 2022, when Politico illegally published it, someone somehow stole this document. Following the surprise document publication, unprepared-for widespread domestic strife ensued, including an assassination attempt on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Chief Justice John Roberts directed the Marshal of the United States Supreme Court, Gail Curley, to investigate and find those responsible. (Even if it were not incompetent and corrupt, the FBI is not allowed to investigate; the Supreme Court has its own police, with the Marshal as head.) To date, after almost 9 months, a full-term pregnancy, those responsible for the theft have still not been found.

The assumption among almost everyone, all IT incompetent, particularly the judiciary and the media, is that the document theft was (improbably) by one of the Supreme Court law clerks (who would have known their budding legal career would be over, or worse, if discovered, among the small group of law clerks).

Not a mention of hackers.

And yet, as I explained in March 2021 in Hackers Own The Federal Legal System and Federal Judiciary Reacts To Hackers, all court documents these days are electronic (if paper is submitted it is just immediately scanned) and in January 2021 the federal judiciary admitted that its document handling system, CM/ECF (Case Management/Electronic Case Files), which even the Supreme Court uses, had been hacked.

The goal of most hackers is to arrange for permanent and undetectable access to a system, for future access; for the Supreme Court, like when another landmark case is about to be decided. The federal judiciary apparently did nothing to unhack CM/ECF and just directed those using it to submit highly sensitive documents (HSD), a very small subset that would not have included the Roe v. Wade document, on paper, to be kept on paper, which can easily be physically secured.

In brief then, hackers probably stole the Roe v. Wade document.

The Supreme Court Marshal, Gail Curley, (as well as the Supreme Court Police) is not responsible for CM/ECF cybersecurity, which is good since Curley has no IT education so is IT incompetent. As a police investigator though, Curley should have immediately suspected hackers and got an IT expert like myself ("Dragging the law into the IT Age") to investigate. Since she did not, she is an incompetent investigator. (She didn't do much about preventing assassination attempts on the Supreme Court justices either, for which she is responsible.)

Who is responsible for CM/ECF cybersecurity? As I explained in Federal Judiciary Reacts To Hackers, the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AO), appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, is responsible. In this case then, Roslynn Mauskopf, who was appointed by Chief Justice Roberts, is responsible. In Federal Judiciary Reacts To Hackers, I warned that Mauskopf has no IT education so is IT incompetent and she would let something like this happen.

There are now a majority of originalist-minded justices on the Supreme Court, so more landmark-overturning decisions can be expected, as can more thefts of draft majority opinions ... and more unprepared-for widespread domestic strife ... and more unprepared-for assassination attempts on Supreme Court Justices.

Scary. Happy Halloween.

[Update: I tried to find out the whereabouts (e.g. law firm) and contact info (e.g. email) of every one of the 36 Supreme Court law clerks (4 per justice, each serving only one year, already ended) during what the judiciary and media presumptively call the "leak". I thought this would be easy since being a Supreme Court law clerk is something to brag about, particularly by the law firms that get them. However, I could only find information for 5 law clerks; the rest were in hiding. I emailed, including this article, the 5 law clerks, as well as James Taranto, the opinion editor of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), whom I had spoken to before, and Alan Dershowitz, the famed constitutional law professor (Harvard) who had just written a WSJ opinion piece titled "The Public Has a Right to Know Who Leaked the Dobbs Draft" and whom I had spoken to before. None responded. The judiciary, who should know better than to presume guilt, and the media have their own narrative about the "leak" — a law clerk did it — and won't consider the far more likely possibility of a hacker. It will be interesting to see what happens when the Supreme Court is ransomwared.]