Lawmakers urge action after report of other high court leak

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said his panel is investigating ”serious allegations” in the report that the former anti-abortion leader knew in advance the outcome of a 2014 Supreme Court case involving contraceptive health care.

Saturday’s report in The New York Times followed the dramatic leak earlier this year of a draft opinion in the case in which the high court overturned Roe v. Wade, ends constitutional protections for abortion. That decision was written by Justice Samuel Alito, who also authored the majority opinion in the 2014 case at the center of the new report.

In the Times story, Pastor Rob Schenck said he read the outcome of the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores weeks before the decision was made public. In a 5-4 decision, Alito wrote that some companies with religious objections could avoid the contraceptive requirement in President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Schenck, who led the group Faith and Action, said in other recent stories in Politico and Rolling Stone that he was part of a joint effort to build social relations with the ministry and conservative judges.

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In the Times story, Schenck said information about the Hobby Lobby decision came from Gail Wright, a lobbyist at his organization who was part of the justice outreach effort and had dined with Alito and his wife. Wright himself denied receiving or sharing any information in an interview with the Times.

The New York Times also published a letter that Schenck said he wrote to Chief Justice John Roberts in July warning him about the alleged crime years ago. Schenck wrote that he thinks this information could be useful as part of an investigation into the legality of the abortion decision.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a statement Saturday that the committee is “examining these serious allegations,” and asked other members of Congress to pass a bill that would require it. the supreme court to adopt a code of conduct.

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Two Democratic Party members, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia, chairman of the Judiciary subcommittee, issued a statement calling the Times report “another black mark on the Supreme Court’s corrupt record of conduct” and said they “intend to do so.” get to the bottom of these heavy charges.” They also urged that the rules of conduct be passed.

The Times story included Alito’s refusal to announce the outcome of the case. The court released Alito’s full statement to The Associated Press: “The allegation that the Wrights were informed of the outcome of the Hobby Lobby decision, or the drafting of the Court’s opinion, by me or my wife is completely false. My wife and I became acquainted with the Wrights years ago because of their strong support for the historic Supreme Court, and since then, we have had a casual and social relationship.

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”I have not noticed any attempt on the part of the Wrights to obtain confidential information or to influence anything I have done either in an official or private capacity, and I would have strongly opposed it if they had done so. “I don’t know about the alleged project of Faith and Action, ‘Faith and Liberty,’ or any group like this, and I would be shocked and outraged if those allegations were true,” it said.

Schenck’s Faith and Movement team became Faith and Freedom after becoming part of Freedom Counsel in 2018.

Alito was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2006 by President George W. Bush.

(This story is not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from the aggregated feed.)

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