Filed Under: Politics

Senate Dems call for investigation of Hobby Lobby SCOTUS decision leak

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The Senate Judiciary Committee is reviewing allegations made in a New York Times report that the 2014 Hobby Lobby decision was leaked to a minister, who then passed the information on to Hobby Lobby’s CEO Steve Green two days before it was publicly released. There are also calls for an investigation and strengthening SCOTUS ethics rules.

The Times reported that Reverend Robert Schenck, who led an evangelical nonprofit in Washington, was informed of the outcome of the decision after two of his friends had dinner with Justice Samuel Alito and his wife. Alito wrote the Hobby Lobby decision, which stated private companies can have a religious exemption from providing contraceptives for their employees.

Schenck sent a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts in July with a description of what happened.

“Back in June 2014, when so many awaited the Court’s opinion in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, I was informed by a donor to the Capitol Hill-based non-profit organization I led that she and her husband would be dining at the home of Justice and Mrs. Alito. She suggested that in their table conversation, she might be able to learn the status of the case, something she knew I had an interest in knowing. I received a follow-up message from her notifying me she had indeed obtained the information during that visit,” Schenck wrote in his letter to Roberts.  

Schenck said the information might be useful given the investigation into the Dobbs leak, which reversed the right to an abortion established under Roe v. Wade and put abortion policy back in state’s hands.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., is now calling on Congress to pass the Supreme Court Ethics Act, which would require the U.S. courts system to develop a code of conduct that applies to all judges, including Supreme Court justices who are currently exempt.

Durbin said the alleged leaks show the “inexcusable ‘Supreme Court loophole’ in federal judicial ethics rules.”

“It is unacceptable that members of the highest court in the land are exempted from the judicial code of ethics when wealthy special interests are spending millions of dollars in dark money to influence the Court’s decisions,” Durbin said in a statement.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is reviewing allegations made in a New York Times report that the 2014 Hobby Lobby decision was leaked to a minister, who then passed the information on to Hobby Lobby’s CEO Steve Green two days before it was released.

 

The Times reported that Reverend Robert Schenck was informed of the outcome of the decision after two of his friends had dinner with Justice Samuel Alito and his wife. Alito wrote the Hobby Lobby decision which stated private companies can have a religious exemption from providing contraceptives for their employees. 

 

Shenck sent a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts in July with a description of what happened. He said the information might be useful given the investigation into the Dobbs leak, which reversed the right to an abortion established under Roe v. Wade, and put abortion policy back in state’s hands. 

 

Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin is now calling on Congress to pass the Supreme Court Ethics Act which would require the U.S. Courts system to develop a code of conduct that applies to all judges, including Supreme Court Justices who are currently exempt. 

 

Durbin said there is a quote “inexcusable ‘Supreme Court loophole’ in federal judicial ethics rules. It is unacceptable that members of the highest court in the land are exempted from the judicial code of ethics when wealthy special interests are spending millions of dollars in dark money to influence the Court’s decisions.” 

 

Straight from DC, I’m Ray Bogan.

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The Senate Judiciary Committee is reviewing allegations made in a New York Times report that the 2014 Hobby Lobby decision was leaked to a minister, who then passed the information on to Hobby Lobby’s CEO Steve Green two days before it was publicly released. There are also calls for an investigation and strengthening SCOTUS ethics rules.

The Times reported that Reverend Robert Schenck, who led an evangelical nonprofit in Washington, was informed of the outcome of the decision after two of his friends had dinner with Justice Samuel Alito and his wife. Alito wrote the Hobby Lobby decision, which stated private companies can have a religious exemption from providing contraceptives for their employees.

Schenck sent a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts in July with a description of what happened.

“Back in June 2014, when so many awaited the Court’s opinion in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, I was informed by a donor to the Capitol Hill-based non-profit organization I led that she and her husband would be dining at the home of Justice and Mrs. Alito. She suggested that in their table conversation, she might be able to learn the status of the case, something she knew I had an interest in knowing. I received a follow-up message from her notifying me she had indeed obtained the information during that visit,” Schenck wrote in his letter to Roberts.  

Schenck said the information might be useful given the investigation into the Dobbs leak, which reversed the right to an abortion established under Roe v. Wade and put abortion policy back in state’s hands.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., is now calling on Congress to pass the Supreme Court Ethics Act, which would require the U.S. courts system to develop a code of conduct that applies to all judges, including Supreme Court justices who are currently exempt.

Durbin said the alleged leaks show the “inexcusable ‘Supreme Court loophole’ in federal judicial ethics rules.”

“It is unacceptable that members of the highest court in the land are exempted from the judicial code of ethics when wealthy special interests are spending millions of dollars in dark money to influence the Court’s decisions,” Durbin said in a statement.

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