Roughly four dozen people have been able to keep quiet about the Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling regarding the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s overhaul of health care. The court should issue a ruling on the law in the next week or two. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that a stream of “rumors and fifth-hand accounts” have appeared in various media about how the court was going to rule.
“My favorite among the press pieces wisely observed: `At the Supreme Court … those who know don’t talk, and those who talk don’t know,’” she said.
The justices know all of the information already since they voted the week that they heard arguments in the case. Others who know the information include the four clerks that work for each of the nine justices.
Despite the 36 clerks growing up and living in the age of technology, they have kept quiet when it comes to discussing how the court will rule on the law. Stephen Miller, a former clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia, is now a lawyer who said that clerks are warned about remaining silent. All of the clerks were warned by Chief Justice William Rehnquist when Miller worked as a clerk. “Leaks were unacceptable,” Miller remembers Rehnquist stating sternly. Miller also said that a clerk who reveals information would be ostracized in the legal industry, ruining a potential legal career before it even starts. Miller said that if a clerk were to leak information and not get caught, the whole class of clerks would be stuck with the stigma.
“So what’s in it for a clerk to leak?” Miller said.