The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
Politico reports that a former clerk to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was editing the Wikipedia bios of Judge Jackson and other potential nominees to replace Justice Stephen Breyer. According to the story, the former clerk sought to make Judge Jackson's bio more appealing to progressives, and the other potential nominees' bios less so.
After POLITICO began inquiring about the changes on Friday, a group of former law clerks for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson identified the anonymous editor as Matteo Godi, another former Jackson clerk. Godi did not respond to multiple emailed requests or a phone call. . . .
Those edits display a pattern: The page for Jackson, seen by many as a Supreme Court frontrunner, was tweaked to paint her in a more favorable light for a liberal audience, while the pages for other potential nominees — South Carolina federal district court Judge J. Michelle Childs and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger — were altered to make them potentially less appealing to a left-leaning audience. . . .
The Wikipedia user "H2rty" — identified as Godi by his former colleagues — made over 20 edits to seven Wikipedia pages of potential Supreme Court nominees in the past week: Jackson, Childs and Kruger, as well as Wilhelmina Wright, Tiffany Cunningham, Arianna J. Freeman and Holly Thomas. The changes began on January 28, two days after news of Justice Stephen Breyer's retirement broke, and continued until February 2. The user also edited Jackson's Wikipedia page as early as May 2017, Wikipedia change logs show. . . .