Samuel Alito didn’t violate ethics standards, Supreme Court counsel says

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CNN

The Supreme Court’s legal counsel said there is no evidence Judge Samuel Alito violated ethical standards, according to a letter Monday in response to questions from congressional Democrats about allegations that Alito revealed the outcome of a 2014 decision before it was released.

“Nothing indicates that Judge Alito’s actions violated ethical standards,” wrote Supreme Court legal counsel Ethan Torrey. “Relevant rules balance between preventing gifts that could undermine public confidence in the judiciary and allowing judges to maintain normal personal friendships.”

The senior congressional Democrats who asked Chief Justice John Roberts for information about the justices’ knowledge of an alleged influence campaign aimed at the court made it clear Tuesday that they were unhappy with Torrey’s response.

Torrey countered allegations from an evangelical pastor, Rev. Rob Schenck, published earlier this month in The New York Times. The story alleged there had been a previous Supreme Court violation in a landmark religious freedom case years before a draft of the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade leaked last semester.

“Justice Alito has said that neither he nor Ms. Alito” told Gayle Wright, a guest at his home years ago, “about the decision in the Hobby Lobby case, or about the authorship of the court opinion,” Torrey wrote. .

Torrey also said that Alito and his wife became acquainted with Wright and her now-deceased husband because of their support of the Supreme Court Historical Society, and “they had an informal and purely social relationship”.

“The Justice Department has never detected any attempt on the part of the Wrights to obtain confidential information or to influence anything he did in an official or private capacity,” Torrey wrote.

Wright previously denied Schenk’s claims in an interview with CNN.

The letter was in response to questions posed by Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Rep. Henry Johnson to Torrey and Roberts last week suggested answers after the Times story appeared.

Congressmen had asked Roberts to “help our investigation” into the allegations and warned that the new allegations suggest “that the organizers of this judicial lobbying campaign may have used their access to certain judges to secure confidential information about pending cases that raise our concerns.” only enlarged. about the lack of adequate ethical and legal guardrails in court.”

On Tuesday, Whitehouse and Johnson said Torrey’s response “repeated Justice Alito’s denials, but failed to provide substantive answers to our questions.”

The Democrats — who chair subcommittees in the Senate and House, respectively, overseeing the federal judiciary — slammed the court for its lack of ethical procedures and transparency.

“These multiple failures of an orderly process are peculiar, coming from the highest court in the country,” they said. “Procedure is the bone structure of justice.”

This story has been updated with additional details.

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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