The US Supreme Court's second major leak report invites calls for an investigation

WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 (Reuters) - A New York Times report about the former anti-abortion leader's claim that he was notified in advance of the outcome of a major 2014 US Supreme Court case involving contraception sparked a call on Saturday for an inquiry into a court still reeling from the leaked ruling. important abortion rights.

The Rev. Rob Schenck was quoted by The Times as saying he was informed weeks before the public announcement of the 2014 decision shortly after two conservative allies had dinner at the home of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and his wife.

Alito wrote that majority opinion as well as the recent opinion that overturned the Roe v. Wade has legalized abortion nationwide, both triumphs for the religious right.

Schenck, who once headed an evangelical nonprofit in Washington, said in a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts and in an interview with The Times that he had been notified in advance of the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, a case involving contraception and religion. rights, the newspaper said.

Schenck used his knowledge of the verdict to prepare a public relations campaign and he also told the president of the evangelical Christian-run Hobby Lobby craft store chain that he would win the case, according to The Times.

Alito said in a statement that any allegations that he or his wife leaked the 2014 decision were "totally false".

Neither Schenck nor Justice Roberts immediately responded to requests for comment.

Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat and chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a written statement that the committee is reviewing the allegations. He pushed for passage of a pending bill in Congress that would create a code of conduct for the Supreme Court. Judges in high courts are not currently required to follow a binding code of conduct for judges in lower federal courts, which Durbin called "unacceptable."

US Representative Mondaire Jones, a Democrat from New York, wrote on Twitter: "Today's well-sourced NY Times article strongly suggests Justice Alito leaked his 2014 opinion in Hobby Lobby, and described a conspiracy by the right-wing donor class to influence the Supreme Court. " Court Judge. The House Judiciary Committee should look into this while we still can."

Brian Fallon, executive director of progressive justice group Demand Justice, said The Times' report is "the latest evidence that Republican judges on the Court are little more than politicians in robes."

"The first step toward recovery is admitting you have a problem. At SCOTUS, the problem runs deep," wrote the Democratic U.S. Senator. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island on Twitter.


The majority opinion plan to overturn Roe, reversing five decades of abortion rights, leaked in May, sparking scrutiny of the court procedure at a time when critics accused her conservative majority of politicizing. Opinion polls show that the court's public approval has reached a record low.

Alito called Roe's leak, which was confirmed when the verdict was announced in June, a "great betrayal".

Schenck was quoted by The Times as saying he had worked for years to gain access to the courts and that in early June 2014 two of his star donors, Ohio couple Donald and Gayle Wright, dined with Justice Alito and his wife, Martha-Ann.

Schenck said one of the Wrights later told him Alito had written the Hobby Lobby opinion piece and it would benefit him, The Times said. The decision announced three weeks later stated that requiring family-owned businesses to pay for insurance covering contraception violated their religious freedom.

In his statement, Alito said: "The accusation that Wright was informed of the outcome of the decision in the Hobby Lobby case, or the authorship of the Court's opinion, by myself or my wife is completely false."

"My wife and I became acquainted with the Wrights several years ago because of their strong support for the Supreme Court Historical Society, and since then, we have had a relaxed and genuine social relationship," said Alito's statement.

"I have never detected any attempt on the part of the Wrights to obtain confidential information or influence anything I do in either an official or private capacity, and I would seriously object to them doing so."

Gayle Wright, in a telephone interview, denied obtaining or passing on such information, The Times reported. This article was written by EDUKASI CAMPUS. 

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