The High Court ruled then that private companies did NOT have to provide contraception services to its employee’s…
Rev. Rob Schenck, a Christian minister, has told the NY Times that Judge Alito told dinner members back in 2014 that he and the majority of the court would rule for the businesses and the Christian organisations that where anti-abortion…
He told these people this BEFORE the High Court actually passed down its decision….
Which IS a group of human beings, seems to have a problem with ‘leaks’ from staff, and even its own judges….
And politics and culture….. It would seem….
The lobbying of the justices, something that is NOT supposed to happen, and it would appear has NO way to be delt with, or stopped, except for media sunlight and focus….
Alito and Justice Thomas are seen as being on a crusade against abortion for some time….
With Trump’s High Court picks?…
They finally got their way….
As the Supreme Court investigates the extraordinary leak this spring of a draft opinion of the decision overturning Roe v. Wade, a former anti-abortion leader has come forward claiming that another breach occurred in a 2014 landmark case involving contraception and religious rights.
In a letter to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and in interviews with The New York Times, the Rev. Rob Schenck said he was told the outcome of the 2014 case weeks before it was announced. He used that information to prepare a public relations push, records show, and he said that at the last minute he tipped off the president of Hobby Lobby, the craft store chain owned by Christian evangelicals that was the winning party in the case.
Both court decisions were triumphs for conservatives and the religious right. Both majority opinions were written by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. But the leak of the draft opinion overturning the constitutional right to abortion was disclosed in the news media by Politico, setting off a national uproar. With Hobby Lobby, according to Mr. Schenck, the outcome was shared with only a handful of advocates.
Mr. Schenck’s allegation creates an unusual, contentious situation: a minister who spent years at the center of the anti-abortion movement, now turned whistle-blower; a denial by a sitting justice; and an institution that shows little outward sign of getting to the bottom of the recent leak of the abortion ruling or of following up on Mr. Schenck’s allegation….
The minister’s account comes at a time of rising concerns about the court’s legitimacy. A majority of Americans are losing confidence in the institution, polls show, and its approval ratings are at a historic low. Critics charge that the court has become increasingly politicized, especially as a new conservative supermajority holds sway.
In May, after the draft opinion in the abortion case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, was leaked in what Justice Alito recently called “a grave betrayal,” the chief justice took the unusual step of ordering an investigation by the Supreme Court’s marshal. Two months later, Mr. Schenck sent his letter to Chief Justice Roberts, saying he believed his information about the Hobby Lobby case was relevant to the inquiry. He said he has not gotten any response….
The court deliberates about the fundamental rights of Americans — like access to contraception and abortion — behind closed doors. Mr. Schenck’s campaign offers insights into the court’s boundaries and culture, and into efforts to draw the justices closer to communities that are devoted to particular outcomes in critical cases.
Supreme Court justices mostly police themselves, which Mr. Schenck said he exploited. While they are subject to the same law on recusals as other federal judges, they are not bound by the ethics code that applies to the rest. (Chief Justice Roberts has said they “consult” it.) Under court norms, they can socialize with lawyers or even parties with interests before them, as long as they do not discuss pending cases.
“I saw us as pushing the boundaries of appropriateness,” Mr. Schenck said.
Still, the ethics code requires judges to avoid any impression that outsiders are in a “special position” to influence them. It is this provision that the meetings Mr. Schenck arranged seemed most designed to test, according to judicial ethics experts.
Amanda Frost, a law professor at the University of Virginia, said in an interview that because the court’s reputation was essential to its institutional legitimacy, justices must take care to “appear to be playing a different role than politicians.” Meeting with a well-known anti-abortion activist could create the appearance that the “person is getting a private opportunity to lobby the justice.”
Though the court does not require justices to disclose meetings with interested parties, there have been periodic controversies,…
The ruling this year thrilled anti-abortion supporters, though it has proved deeply unpopular among the majority of Americans. After the draft was leaked, Mr. Schenck said, he felt compelled to come forward about his attempts to influence the court.
“You can position yourself in a special category with regard to the Justices,” he said. “You can gain access, have conversations, share prayer.”
Even when his group was most active at the court, he said, “I would look up at that phrase that’s chiseled into the building itself, ‘Equal Justice Under Law,’” he recalled. “I would think, ‘Not really.’”….
image…The Rev. Rob Schenck with the newly confirmed Justice Alito in 2006, at a welcome reception in the Supreme Court building….NY Times