Dick Durbin, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a Democrat from Illinois declared on Saturday that his panel is looking into “serious accusations” that a former anti-abortion activist was given weeks’ worth of notice of a 2014 Supreme Court decision.
The latest: According to Politico, who broke the story first on Sunday night, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), who chair courts subcommittees, wrote to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to inquire whether any action had been taken over the alleged 2014 leak and to suggest they would investigate if not.
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
- In response to prior correspondence with Roberts regarding claims that a religious group had attempted to influence judges, they responded, “Congress is the only forum if the Court, as your letter suggests, is not ready to undertake fact-finding examinations into possible ethics infractions.”
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The main story: Justice Samuel Alito has denied any claims that he or his wife divulged 2014 ruling early to anybody, writing majority opinions in both the Hobby Lobby contraception and religious-liberty case and the leaked draught opinion of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
- Rev. Rob Schenck, a former anti-abortion activist, told the New York Times that Gayle Wright, a donor to the evangelical group he was leading, had notified him of choice. The NYT notes that Wright “denied collecting or passing along any such information.”
They say this: According to AP, Whitehouse and Johnson (both Democrats from Georgia) joined Durbin in asking other Congressmen to pass legislation requiring a code of ethics for Supreme Court justices.
- According to AP, the lawmakers promised to “get to the bottom of these serious claims” and referred to the NYT piece as “another black mark on the Supreme Court’s increasingly tarnished ethical record.”