Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) called for an investigation into allegations that there was a leak of the 2014 Supreme Court decision concerning religious liberty in the famous Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case.
The Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said the claims around the decision authored by Justice Samuel Alito are serious and spotlight “once again the inexcusable Supreme Court loophole” in federal judiciary regulations.
This, of course, comes on the heels of the leaked draft opinion earlier this year that preceded the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
Durbin, without citing evidence, lashed out at “wealthy special interests” pouring “millions in dark money” into efforts to influence the high court. He called it “unacceptable” that justices are not covered by the judicial code of ethics.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) also called out the “serious allegations.” The pair released a statement saying the charge is “another black mark on the Supreme Court’s increasingly marred ethical record.”
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) calls out Minority Leader McConnell for focusing on the SCOTUS leaker instead of the contents of the leak:
“Privacy is something we value as Americans … McConnell doesn’t want to raise that issue because he knows how Americans feel about their privacy.” pic.twitter.com/OyklUESJVj
— The Recount (@therecount) May 3, 2022
The allegations originated in a New York Times article published over the weekend. The piece cited former anti-abortion activist Rev. Rob Schenck, who said he was told of the pending ruling weeks before the decision went public.
Schenck claimed that two conservative activists told him of the coming decision.
The couple had dinner at the home of conservative Justice Samuel Alito and his wife before making the revelation. For his part, Alito said that Schenck’s recounting of the facts in 2014 is “completely false.”
Schenck provided the Times with a copy of a letter he said he wrote to Chief Justice John Roberts in July. The letter told the jurist of the alleged 2014 incident, and Schenck expressed he thought the information could be important in the investigation into this spring’s leaked draft.
The activists are wealthy donor Gayle Wright and her husband. She joined Alito in denying the alleged leak ever took place.
Alito authored the Hobby Lobby opinion, which ruled that for-profit companies may deny medical coverage for contraceptives for religious reasons. He also authored the draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which preceded the June 24 ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade.
It is noteworthy to compare the “moral outrage” of Democrats since the Times piece with their reaction to the infamous draft leak last spring. At that time, most had no interest in the leak itself but rather what it revealed. That stance apparently has changed.