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Senate Panel Looking into Suspected Alito Opinion Leak from the Supreme Court in 2014
After a New York Times article claimed that the justice or his wife discussed the ruling on contraception and religious freedom before it was published, the Senate Judiciary Committee is investigating the potential leak of a Supreme Court decision from 2014 written by Justice Samuel Alito.
The charges are severe and “highlight once again the unforgivable ‘Supreme Court loophole’ in federal judicial ethics regulations,” according to Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), chairman of the committee. Durbin said that it was unacceptable that judges on the highest court in the land were immune from the judicial code of ethics in light of the fact that powerful special interests were pouring millions of dollars into the shadows to sway the Court’s decisions.
According to the Associated Press, two additional congressmen, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) have also pledged to look into the alleged leak, calling The Times revelation “another dark mark on the Supreme Court’s increasingly tarnished ethical record.”
The New York Times revealed on Saturday that Rev. Rob Schenck, who once served as the executive director of an evangelical group, was given weeks’ notice of the decision in the 2014 case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. After dining with Alito and his wife, wealthy contributor Gayle Wright and her husband, according to Schenck, learned that the Supreme Court would rule in favor of Hobby Lobby.
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According to the Hobby Lobby decision, for-profit businesses may refuse to cover employees’ contraception due to a religious objection. In a 5-4 decision, the court sided with Hobby Lobby, and Alito penned the majority opinion.
Alito has refuted the claims, telling The Times that while he and his wife did dine with the couple, any claims that they informed the Wrights of the outcome of the Hobby Lobby case or that they were the authors of the court’s judgment are “absolutely wrong.” Schenck’s account has also been refuted by Wright.
Beyond revelations about the leaks, this story reveals equally disturbing stories about how SCOTUS Justices are lobbied w/out any public disclosure. It’s long past time they be required to comply w/ethics rules & be transparent. Pass the bill to do that!https://t.co/5nwELE2Sif
— Senator Chris Van Hollen (@ChrisVanHollen) November 20, 2022
Kind of scary: Parents are freaking out over the lack of amoxicillin. After the incident in Colorado, Chasten Buttigieg instructs Boebert to “get off Twitter.” The announcement comes as the Supreme Court looks into the leak of the draught opinion in the June Roe v. Wade and constitutional right to abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
Alito also contributed to the Dobbs decision’s majority opinion. The first case to ever be leaked to the general public was a draught that Politico published in May. The Times reports that Schenck wrote to Chief Justice John Roberts of the Supreme Court to tell him of the 2014 Hobby Lobby leak but has not heard back.