Supreme Court Judge? they are like you and me
That’s about the same as the total public defense put up to oppose. A hit New York Times report that came out on saturday. The story came as a bit of a shock: Justice Samuel Alito claimed he told donors to the religiously motivated Supreme Court lobby organization in 2014 that he planned to write an opinion. there is Burwell V. hobby lobbyThis revelation can really only be compared to another leak. Dobbs But it made its way through the media and legal world with much less fanfare. Who among us doesn’t like good dinners and hot gossip? Court critics were once again told to get over themselves.
As explained by Jodi Kantor and Joe Becker, then-anti-abortion activist Reverend Rob Schenck announces the outcome of a 2014 lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act contraception mandate. I knew a few weeks before it was done. Did Schenk hear this, as he claims, from the Wright family, wealthy Ohio donors who dined with the Alitos that year earlier in June, or simply from someone else? Whether or not the fact is, there are ample contemporaneous reports by Kanter and Becker. Schenk knew what would happen and acted accordingly.
Indeed, Schenck is an unreliable whistleblower, especially based on his own previous activism. And to the extent that the issue here is framed as a leak from Alito, the leak is actually a moot point between sitting Supreme Court justices and wealthy donors who pay to access them. It should be borne in mind that not being the least problematic aspect of a relationship. The story is also very detailed.as the era The Wrights, as they wrote in their 2001 newsletter, founded Schenck’s organization, Face and Action, “to profoundly influence the attitudes and behavior of those who are in a position to shape and interpret our laws.” announced the fact that he was involved in Since 2000, when he left Faith and Action in 2018, the fact that Schenck has raised over $30 million for just that is indisputable.
Also indisputable is the fact that Alito and his wife, Martha Ann, were dining with wealthy donors back in June. Hobby Lobby. Alito acknowledged this fact in a court statement earlier this week. One of the wealthy donors, Gail Wright, emailed Schenk shortly after dinner and said, “Rob, if you want some interesting news, call me. No email.” After seeing the email, I asked Wright what else this secret, unprintable, “interesting” piece of news was, and she said she was telling him that she was recovering from a stomach ailment. M’kay.) Wright was nurtured by Schenck among other wealthy fans of religious liberty and donated large amounts of cash to the Supreme Court Historical Society so that it could gain access to judges. . Antonin Scalia did not. Instead, these three justices gave donors access to oral arguments in this year’s marquee religious freedom cases and highly sought-after seats.
“We were invited by Nino and Sam to use our seats,” Gail Wright wrote to Schenk before the discussion. hobby lobby case in hand. “Wow!”
Wright explained that “Nino and my husband were such good friends” that Scalia “always” gave her and her (now deceased) husband a table to discuss. In a statement to the New York Times, Alito claimed that he and his wife share a “casual and purely social relationship” with Rights.
The casual, social relationships the Wrights have cultivated include, among others: Hunting with Scalia. Interact with Aritos, Scalias, and Thomas. We host Alitos at our vacation home near Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Gail Wright has been very busy with all these casual, social friendships, and according to her 2016 email, her schedule included: [Scalia’s wife] on wednesday. “
It is also indisputable that donations to the Supreme Court Historical Society bought access to judges. In fact, it is indisputable that they granted interested donors access to Supreme Court events. This prompted David T. Pryde, the association’s executive director, to take Hobby Lobby CEO David Green to a Christmas party he hosted in November 2011. Chief Justice of the High Court itself. Schenk then described Green’s parents as potential big donors to society. “A family is worth about $3 billion.” And shortly thereafter, Green embarked on a challenge to the Affordable Care Act. hobby lobby litigation.
What is also incontrovertible is that Alito was well aware of Wright’s casual, socio-religious views (she was interested in “all cases related to biblical issues”). (She explained that she was The First Liberty Institute also has religious freedom cases in the High Court. Also, previous reports on beliefs and actions are incontrovertible. Politico When rolling stoneReports include claims that he prayed with a judge in court and funded an expensive dinner with Thomas, Alito, Scalia, and their wives. Yet financial disclosures from judges rarely include expensive meals or “personal hospitality.”
Alito’s statement to the New York Times seems focused on arguing that Wrights (not bound by ethics or disclosure rules) did nothing wrong. To influence everything I do, public or private, which I would have strongly objected to if they had done so. First, whether the Wrights received classified information and acted inappropriately is far more important than whether he, a Supreme Court Justice, somehow leaked the information and acted inappropriately. Less worries. But still, what to do with the fact that wealthy religious zealots paid to pray, mingle, and elicit valuable personal favors from Supreme Court judges? You are free to do all of these things.The real problem is that the judges have allowed, encouraged and rewarded this, pretending the real crime here is cracking down on their casual social lives.As Rolling Stone As reported earlier this spring, Faith and Action, which claims to have held regular prayers with several judges over the years, also submitted an Amicus brief to the court.
In other words, the leak is really negligible. Partly because no one really believed that the courts were going to crack down on, or even investigate, leakers. The New York Times article on a massive influence network was a real farce, not even mentioning a leak, and the fact that wealthy donors didn’t secure special favors meant that judges had already Because it was tanked for religious ideology.Don’t make this smell any better.
And that’s the crux of it. The problem is the fact that some judges believe that “casual” and “social” relationships with lobbyists, activists, and stakeholders doing business in court are appropriate and acceptable. . The problem is that the same judge who continues to accuse his colleagues, the press, and the American public of the widespread erosion of trust in the institution does not seem to understand what kinds of behavior are considered inappropriate. It is visible. actually that is Inappropriate. A traffic court judge in a town with four traffic lights, he would rather than drink, go on vacation, shoot with stakeholders, much less reserve a seat for a big-ticket case. I know very well. Obviously not when the stakeholder is rich.
When Rights and other donors purchased access to Supreme Court events, they acknowledged that access to luxury villas and dinners was not illegal. They could be avoided within the power of the profited judges. They didn’t because they seemed to believe they were engaging in a casual act of friendship. It tells you everything you need to know about why this court keeps burning its own justification candles at both ends. Free and profitable siphoning, lobbying, currying favors, and the rewards that come with it are all remade as harmless socializing.
The very same Supreme Court Justices who continue to argue that they let we Those who know who is to blame for the plummeting approval numbers may believe their judgment on the matter is intact.Their judgment is severely impaired, and the New York Times By reporting, you will be able to clarify why the problem cannot be expected to be resolved.I can’t even count on your name that.