Meaning in History: https://meaninginhistory.substack.com/p/scotus-law-clerk-research-breaking
But first, a disclaimer:
I have no inside information. This thread is speculation, based almost entirely on publicly available information. I could easily be wrong.
Her academic background isn’t that uncommon for Supreme Court clerks. Yale undergrad, Yale law, and 2 British Master’s degrees, from LSE and Cambridge.
Do note the Master’s degree in Gender.
Here’s where things start to get interesting. Every law student has to write a note – a long legal research paper, usually making a novel argument about the law.
Elizabeth Deutsch wrote hers about reproductive rights and abortion.
Specifically, she argued that Obamacare’s non-discrimination provision should be interpreted to *force* Catholic hospitals to perform “emergency abortions.”
Aggressive argument – and hey, law students make aggressive arguments.
While in law school she wrote a NYT op-ed about reproductive rights. Sensing a theme here.
Her career page on LinkedIn doesn’t reveal that much…until we start digging a little further.
First, thanks to her NYT wedding announcement (of course), we know that she clerked for judge Nina Pillard.
Pillard was one of the DC Circuit judges appointed by Obama and forced through by Harry Reid blowing up the filibuster.
She’s stridently pro-choice. Perhaps not shocking.
After her clerkships, she got a Gruber fellowship at the ACLU for a full year.
What was she working on?
You guessed it. Abortion and reproductive rights.
But none of this proves anything. Yes, Deutsch’s career seems pretty focused on abortion. But without some connection to Josh Gerstein (the journalist who received the leak opinion) there would be no reason to suspect her.
Let’s go back to that NYT wedding announcement.
“The bride and groom met at Yale. She is a lawyer. He is a journalist.
Isaac Arnsdorf just got hired by the Washington Post as a national political reporter. (Of course he’s on the Trump beat).
But where has he written in the past?
Oh, look. He wrote for POLITICO.
SHARING A BYLINE WITH JOSH GERSTEIN.
Looks like Gerstein and they are still bros – chatting on Twitter, interacting as recently as last year.
So, to conclude:
We have a currently-serving Supreme Court law clerk whose career has been almost solely focused on abortion.
She wrote her law school note on abortion.
She wrote op-eds about reproductive rights.
She spent a year working on abortion for the ACLU.
She clerked for a stridently pro-choice appellate judge.
And it just so happens that her husband is a journalist, who shared bylines with Josh Gerstein at Politico, and it looks like they are still buds.
I don’t know that Elizabeth Deutsch leaked the draft opinion.
But I certainly think someone who has spent much of their academic and professional life fighting to expand the right to get an abortion could be desperate enough to do so.