Supreme Court Brings In New Clerks In Major Shakeup

( In most years, the Supreme Court’s next round of law clerks wouldn’t make for big news. This year, though, after the draft majority opinion in the case that ultimately overturned Roe v. Wade was leaked to the press, the details of the high court’s newest law clerks is making news.

Reuters reported recently that, in keeping with past tradition, the newest class of incoming clerks for the Supreme Court is dominated by graduates from law schools at top universities such as Stanford, Harvard and Yale.

Last week, the newest list of law clerks was confirmed by the Supreme Court. This class will begin its work starting in the high court’s October term. It will mark the first new group to join the Supreme Court since the draft majority opinion was leaked to the press back in May.

When the draft opinion was leaked, many people surmised that it was done by a law clerk. Some conspiracy theorists have said that the clerk may have leaked the opinion in an effort to try to get the justices to change their minds.

Ultimately, that didn’t happen. The final decision in the case in question, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, was handed down in June. It overturned the 1973 landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, which until now, had protected a woman’s right to abortion at the federal level.

No details of who the leaker is have been released to the public thus far, and it’s uncertain whether the Supreme Court has even discovered who it is through its own internal investigation. John Roberts, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, called the leak “a betrayal of the confidences of the court.”

But, people have suspected that a law clerk was responsible for the leak, since they have access to all of the draft opinions that are circulated before decisions are final.

Because of the whole situation, the law clerks are receiving increased attention and scrutiny. Despite the debacle happening, the Supreme Court has stuck to its roots in where it is taking the new clerks from.

The school with the highest number of alumni serving as clerks in the new class is Yale Law School, which has 12 on the list. Next is Harvard with eight and then Stanford, which has even, according to Reuters.

Only four of the 38 law clerks in the new class graduated from schools that are ranked among what’s known as the T-14. That designation includes law schools that are ranked in the top 14 nationwide by U.S. News & World Report.

Two alumni from George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School are among the new class. That school ranks 30th on the U.S. News & World Report list.

Being a clerk for the Supreme Court can be a great learning experience and a very rewarding one financially, too. Once clerks end their time at the high court, they can often command signing bonuses of as much as $400,000 at major law firms throughout the United States.