WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said his panel is reviewing “serious allegations” In a report, a former anti-abortion leader was aware in advance of the outcome of an upcoming 2014 referendum Supreme Court Contraception coverage in health care
The report Saturday in The New York Times Followed the astonishing leak earlier in the year of a draft opinion in the case In which Roe v. Wade was overturned by the high court, ending constitutional protections regarding abortion. The court made that decision. Justice Samuel AlitoThe majority opinion is also written by, 2014 case at the center of the new report.
Rev. Rev. Rob Schenck stated that he was informed of the outcome in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores matter weeks before it became public. In a 5-4 decision, Alito wrote that some companies with religious objections can avoid the contraceptives requirement in President Barack Obama’s health care legislation.
Schenck, the former leader of Faith and ActionHe has also said this in recent stories Politico And Rolling Stone He was part of an organized effort to forge ministry and social relationships with conservative justices.
Schenck stated in the Times that Hobby Lobby’s decision was the result of information obtained from Gail Wright. Wright was a contributor to his organization and part of the outreach effort to justices. He had also dined at Alito’s home with his wife. Wright, in an interview with Times, denied sharing or obtaining any information.
The New York Times published Schenck’s July correspondence in which he stated that he had written Chief Justice John Roberts in July, alerting him about the alleged breach of privacy many years ago. Schenck said that he thought the information might have relevance as part of a probe into the leak of the abortion decision.
Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, who is the chairman for the Senate Judiciary Committee said Saturday in a statement that the committee was “as good as possible.” “reviewing these serious allegations,” He urged fellow members to vote for a bill that would allow him to serve as a representative in Congress. require the high court to adopt a code of ethics.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island and Rep. Hank Johnson, of Georgia, are fellow Democrats who chair courts subcommittees. They issued a statement denouncing the Times report. “another black mark on the Supreme Court’s increasingly marred ethical record” And they said they “intend to get to the bottom of these serious allegations.” They also pushed for the adoption of a code ethics.
The Times’ story included an emphatic denial by Alito that he’d disclosed the outcome of the case. The court released Alito’s full statement to The Associated Press:
“The allegation that the Wrights were told the outcome of the decision in the Hobby Lobby case, or the authorship of the opinion of the Court, by me or my wife is completely false. My wife and I became acquainted with the Wrights some years ago because of their strong support for the Supreme Court Historical Society, and since then, we have had a casual and purely social relationship.
“I never detected any effort on the part of the Wrights to obtain confidential information or to influence anything that I did in either an official or private capacity, and I would have strongly objected if they had done so. I have no knowledge of any project that they allegedly undertook for ‘Faith and Action,’ ‘Faith and Liberty,’ or any similar group, and I would be shocked and offended if those allegations are true,” It said.
Schenck’s Faith and Action group became Faith & Liberty after becoming part of the Liberty Counsel in 2018.
President George W. Bush named Alito to the highest court in 2006.