Justice Alito denies allegation he was involved in a 2014 Supreme Court leak


Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito denies an allegation that he disclosed in advance the decision of a 2014 case on contraceptives and religious rights.

The New York Times reported on Saturday that Rev. Rob Schenck said he learned of the decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby weeks before it was announced by the court.

Schenck said he was made aware of the decision shortly after Gayle Wright, a donor to the evangelical nonprofit organization he runs called Faith and Action, and her husband had dinner with Judge Alito and his wife, Martha-Ann Alito.

Alito wrote the opinion in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, in which the court ruled in favor of two for-profit companies that objected on religious grounds to a provision of the Affordable Cart Act requiring employers to provide health insurance that includes birth control coverage.

In a statement to ABC News, Alito said the “claim that the Wrights were told by me or my wife the outcome of the decision in the Hobby Lobby case, or the authorship of the court’s opinion, is completely false.”

Alito said he and his wife became acquainted with the Wrights “because of their strong support of the Supreme Court Historical Society, and we’ve had an informal and purely social relationship ever since.”

Schenck told the Times that the Wrights were part of his effort to gain inside access to the Supreme Court, which he says he did through donors and by doing favors for the court’s “gatekeepers.”

In his statement to ABC News, Alito said he had “never observed any attempt on the part of the Wrights to obtain confidential information or influence anything I did in an official or private capacity, and I would have objected strongly if they did.” So.”

Alito said he would be “shocked and offended if those allegations are true”.

Associate Justice Samuel Alito sits during a group photo of Washington Supreme Court Justices on April 23, 2021.

Pool/Getty Images, FILE

Gayle Wright also denied obtaining or passing on such information in a telephone interview with the Times.

Schenck said he relayed this account in a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts after the court opened an investigation into the leak of a draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization in which five of the court’s conservative justices decided to end to the constitutional right to abortion.

The draft opinion was leaked and first reported by Politico in May before being released by the Supreme Court on June 24. Alito was also the author of the majority opinion.

In the letter, also published by the Times, Schenck wrote to Roberts: “Given that whoever is responsible for the initial leak of the recent draft opinion could face a heavy fine, I thought this earlier incident would merit some consideration by you. and others involved in the process.”

Alliance for Justice, a progressive judicial advocacy group, said the Times report adds to a growing list of ethical concerns surrounding the Supreme Court, including the political activism of Judge Clarence Thomas’ wife Ginni Thomas.

“The extremism of this Supreme Court would be reason enough for the American people to lose faith in the judiciary and the rule of law. But the conservative justices are now doing something far worse by ignoring basic standards of decency and giving credence to our worst fear: that they are acting in tandem with the most extreme elements of the conservative movement to advance an unpopular and un-American political agenda. Alliance for Justice president Rakim HD Brooks said in a statement in response to the Times report.

“It will take several sweeping reforms to restore our faith in this fractured institution,” Brooks said.

Devin Dwyer of ABC News contributed to this report.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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