Response from the Ethics Counsel of the Supreme Court on Roberts earlier this month, talking about some of policy and practice of the court in in area but does not offer any details about lobbying drive.
“An answer indicating out Existence of rules does not answer questions about whether these rules were broken,” wrote Whitehouse and Johnson. in them new Sunday’s letter, which was received exclusively by POLITICO. “It appears that the basis issue this absence of formal institution for complaint or investigation possible ethics or whistleblowing. …. If the Court, as stated in your letter, is unwilling to take over fact- search queries in possible ethical violations, leaving Congress as the only forum.”
A Supreme Court spokesman did not immediately respond to a message on Sunday evening asking comment on letter.
The deputies stated that they latest message to Roberts triggered in part of the report on saturday in New York Times about former statement by an anti-abortion activist that he knew in advance of the result in 2014 of happening of keen interest in social conservatives. A business, Burwell v Hobby Lobbyled to Judge Samuel Alito’s ruling that religious owners of closed businesses were not required to comply with all of Affordable Care Act requirements for contraception coverage.
Reverend Rob Shenk, former evangelical minister who has since changed denomination, said he was warned of the outcome of case and authorship of Alito of the conclusion a few weeks before it was made public by the court. Shenk said that information came from a dinner hosted by a rich couple with Alito and his wife Martha-Ann Alito at the Alitos’ Virginia Hotel. home after making significant donations to the Supreme Court Historical Society.
Alito vehemently denied that he or his wife were responsible for Any leak. one member of pair who dined with Alito that night, Gale Wright also denied that she reported the result of case for Shenk. Her husband Ohio real property developer Don Wright, deceased in 2020.
POLITICO investigated the alleged leak for several months and could not find anyone claiming direct knowledge of premature disclosure of Exodus of Hobby Lobby case from Judge Alito or his wife. However, there is circumstantial evidence that Schenk had, or believed he had, advance knowledge of the results. of case and who was writing It.
Shenk wrote to Roberts in July passing the word of supposed leak eight years ago. He said that the court wish rate this episode the way he thinks how to deal with with long away more public disclosure in May POLITICO of Overturning Alito’s Opinion Draft Rowe vs. Wade.
The court did not comment on Schenk’s letter or whether there was any investigation into the 2014 case leaky new a letter from Whitehouse, and Johnson asks Roberts to explain “whether the court reassessed any of its practices, procedures or rules related to judicial ethics or justices’ receiving and reporting of gifts and travel” result of recent news reports and Schenck’s letter.
Whitehouse and Johnson also expressed concern that some sponsors of the Supreme Court Historical Society, a non-profit educational organization with close ties with the court, tried use societies events cosy up to justices.
“Who responsible for overseeing the relationship between the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court Historical Society for ensure what paid membership in Society is not used as a means of gain undue influence?” MPs asked.
Society official did not respond immediately for comment Sunday evening.
Whitehouse, sharp critic of what he claims is politicization of The Supreme Court, able to address these concerns in his ability as chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Federal courts, oversight, agency actions, and federal law
johnson head up similar subcommittee on house side but it ability explore questions can soon be limited with Republicans set take over control of House Committees in January at the end of midterm elections earlier this month.