But why were they so pissed that they immediately leaked? You'd think these characters would have more self-control. I'd like to suggest that it was controlled. These smart guys think fast. They made a cold calculation. There's an effect they seek — they had a political strategy — and it's simply most effective if it's put in motion at the point when everyone's involved in trying understand what happened. That's my speculation. The speculation that they are not hotheads. Which would require changing Kerr's first "know" — in the quote in my post title — to "think."
Here's what Kerr says:
If you leak to [journalist Jan] Crawford with the spin that Roberts’ decision was illegitimate, and then the mandate opponents pick up that theme and run with it, perhaps that view will gain some traction in the legal world and will help out another challenge in the future. Or perhaps there’s a smoking gun that explains what Roberts was thinking that hasn’t been made public yet. Or perhaps the health care cases just made people act strangely. It’s hard to know.Are Justices "people"? They live in such a ridiculous environment that it's hard to know what counts as strange. It's a strange way of life.
(And yet we trust them! Presumably, we trust them because they're following some process we regard as legal, even though we don't really believe they do, and we're reduced to complaining about how they don't or positing theories that legitimate something else that we think they might do but that we can't articulate in a form that actual people — people people — can swallow.)