How did a handful of evangelists and wealthy donors get Roe overturned? Follow the money.
Former Anti-Abortion Leader Alleges Another Supreme Court Breach. "Years before the leaked draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, a landmark contraception ruling was disclosed, according to a minister who led a secretive effort to influence justices." - NY Times
What is infiltration? To secretly become part of a group in order to get information or to influence the way that group thinks or behaves. (Cambridge Dictionary).
Use this PowerMap to follow the infiltration to see:
- How money was used to get access to justices?
- Who were the players? How were relationships exploited?
- What ethics constraints are Supreme Court Justices bound by?
- What has Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts done to investigate the alleged leaks?
How evangelicals infiltrated the Supreme Court
"What we did was wrong"
“In all of my rhetoric about humanizing the fetus, I had very much dehumanized others,” Reverend Rob Schenck said. 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. Schenck said, stems from his regret about the actions that he claims led to his advance knowledge about the case. “What we did,” he said, “was wrong.” - NY Times
Allegations that Alito leaked SCOTUS decision
"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.
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." - NY Times
Operation Higher Court
Mr. Schenck launched “Operation Higher Court”— an attempt to reach the justices directly. Justices are given lifetime appointments to promote independence and buffer them from lobbying and politicking. But Mr. Schenck wanted the conservatives on the court to hear from people who would hail them as heroes if they seized the opportunity to strike down Roe one day. The goal, he said in an interview, was to “embolden the justices” to lay the legal groundwork for an eventual reversal by delivering “unapologetically conservative dissents.” - NY Times
Recruited wealthy donors
Mr. Schenck recruited wealthy donors like Mrs. Wright and her husband, Donald, encouraging them to invite some of the justices to meals, to their vacation homes or to private clubs. He advised allies to contribute money to the Supreme Court Historical Society and then mingle with justices at its functions. He ingratiated himself with court officials who could help give him access, records show.
A day later, Gayle Wright, one of the pair, contacted Mr. Schenck, according to an email reviewed by The Times. “Rob, if you want some interesting news please call. No emails,” she wrote. When the Hobby Lobby case was argued before the Supreme Court in March 2014, Mrs. Wright and her husband watched from a select spot: seats in the courtroom reserved for guests of Justices Scalia and Alito.
In the interview, Mrs. Wright said she used such seats “all the time” because “Nino and my husband were very good friends.” She was eager to hear the Hobby Lobby arguments, she added, because she had an interest in “all cases related to biblical issues.” - NY Times
Above the law?
"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." - NY Times
Chief Justice Roberts to date has not taken any action on the allegations by Schenck that Justice Alito leaked the Hobby Lobby decision. Supreme Court justices are appointed for life. Who governs their behavior and ethics compliance.
Ginni Thomas Linked To 38 Groups That Lobbied SCOTUS To Overturn Roe. The Guardian shows an intricate web of connections between many of the most influential groups and figures on the conservative hard right, with Ginni Thomas at the centre of it. Several of the links run through her consultancy, Liberty Consulting, which she set up in 2010 and which brags that it can “give access to any door in Washington”. Another major route is through the Council for National Policy (CNP), a secretive Christian conservative networking group. - C&L
Demands for Code of Ethics for the Supreme Court
“We’ve had some judges who’ve been engaged in atrocious behavior, sexual assault, sexual intimidation, and other misconduct. And many times, we haven’t been proactive in punishing them and sanctioning them for what they’ve done,” said Walton, who was appointed by George W. Bush in 2001. “As a court system – federal, state, and otherwise – we are under scrutiny and under attack. And I think there’s an attempt by some to undermine our independence. And because of that, I think all judges should be subject to a code of ethics,” Walton told the Washington Post, adding that when judges are not held accountable for their actions, it tarnishes the respect the public has for the judiciary. - EconoTimes
Take Away: Demand a Code of Ethics for the Supreme Court.
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