The Supreme Court: Not Such an Impregnable Fortress Anymore?

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CBS's Jan Crawford --the author of a well received book in 2007 called SUPREME CONFLICT --reported that those "with specific knowledge of the deliberations" said Roberts had switched his vote in May. Crawford's reporting reflected the fury of the dissenters who didn't mention Roberts' majority because the conservatives, "no longer wished to engage in debate with him."

Salon.com contradicted some of the CBS report quoting those "within the Court with direct knowledge of the drafting process." Salon.com said that Roberts had in fact drafted parts of the dissent AND the majority opinion.

John Fund, of the National Review, wrote that his "own sources" told him early on that Roberts did express skepticism about throwing out the entire law.

Suddenly, court watchers were engaging in the parlor game obsession normally reserved for the other branches of government: "who are the leakers?"

Before he left Washington Roberts drew laughter from an audience when he said Malta seemed "like a good idea," according to the Associated Press. Presumably he will get some vacation time before he tackles next term. The full story of what happened behind closed doors as draft opinions circulated between chambers may never emerge. Or the public will have to wait for a sitting justice to retire and release his or her papers.

Until then, precedent has broken with leaks coming so soon after a major decision, and the court itself no longer fells like such an impregnable fortress.

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