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H.R. 7917: Leaker Accountability Act of 2022


The text of the bill below is as of May 31, 2022 (Introduced).

Summary of this bill

People haven’t been this horrified by a publicized first draft since the original character design for the Sonic the Hedgehog movie.

Context

In May, Politico leaked a draft Supreme Court opinion that would overturn 1973’s Roe v. Wade decision and revert abortion policy entirely back to the states. The identity of the leaker and their motive both remain publicly unknown.

Although some politicians like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called the leak a “lawless action,” that’s actually false. Leaking government documents is only a crime if the document is classified, which the draft opinion was not. Classified documents are almost always within the executive branch, usually related …


I

117th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 7917

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 31, 2022

(for himself, Mr. McKinley, Mrs. Miller of Illinois, Mr. Mullin, Mr. Tiffany, Mr. Fitzgerald, Mr. Owens, Mr. Bishop of North Carolina, Mrs. Spartz, Mr. Gohmert, Mr. Good of Virginia, and Ms. Stefanik) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide for penalties for the unauthorized disclosure of confidential information by officers or employees of the Supreme Court, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Leaker Accountability Act of 2022.

2.

Obstruction of Supreme Court deliberations

(a)

In general

Chapter 73 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

1522.

Obstruction of Supreme Court deliberations

(a)

In general

Whoever, while serving as an officer or employee of the Supreme Court, violates this section by knowingly publishing, divulging, disclosing, or making known in any manner or to any extent not authorized by law any confidential information coming to that officer or employee in the course of the employment or official duties of that officer or employee shall be imprisoned not more than 5 years or fined under this title, or both.

(b)

Confidential information defined

In this section, the term confidential information includes internal notes on cases heard by the Supreme Court, any communication between a Justice of the Supreme Court and an employee or officer of the Supreme Court or communication between officers and employees of the Supreme Court on a matter pending before the Supreme Court, a draft opinion, a final opinion prior to the date on which such opinion is released to the public, personal information of a Justice of the Supreme Court that is not otherwise legally available to the public, and any other information designated to be confidential by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court prior to the date on which a violation of subsection (a) occurs.

.

(b)

Table of contents

The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 73 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

1522. Obstruction of Supreme Court deliberations.

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