• Unelected Corrupt Radical Right Wing Supreme Court Justice Alito Slams

    From Crater Ed@21:1/5 to All on Sat Jul 29 13:10:26 2023
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    Supreme Court Justice Alito Slams Congress’ Efforts To Impose Code Of
    Ethics On Court

    "I am highly offended by ethics. They're as anti-conservative as it

    Democratic lawmakers have moved forward with legislation that would force
    the Supreme Court to adopt a code of ethics, as lower federal judges are already required to follow, with the Senate Judiciary Committee advancing long-shot legislation last week that would require the court to impose an ethics code and create a method for processing complaints if any justices violate it.

    The push for the court to adopt a code of ethics came in response to a
    series of ethics controversies that have come out involving the court’s justices—including Alito, who the New York Times reported may have leaked
    the ruling in 2014’s Burwell v. Hobby Lobby to a conservative donor, and
    who ProPublica reported accepted a luxury fishing trip from billionaire
    Paul Singer without disclosing it, even as Singer’s hedge fund had
    business before the court.


    In an interview with the Journal, Alito said he believes Congress doesn’t
    have the power to force the court to impose an ethics code, saying
    “Congress did not create the Supreme Court” and that while it might be “controversial” to say so, “No provision in the Constitution gives
    [lawmakers] the authority to regulate the Supreme Court—period.”

    No other justices have commented on the pending legislation, and Alito
    told the Journal while he “do[esn’t] think I should say” how his
    colleagues feel about the issue, “it is something we have all thought

    Legal experts criticized Alito’s comments to the Journal, with University
    of Texas law professor Stephen Vladeck saying it was “stunning” Alito
    would make such a comment, and his position is “belied by 234 years of practice, and would turn the separation of powers totally on its head.”

    Congress already regulates aspects of the Supreme Court beyond a code of ethics—such as passing the court’s budget, and imposing financial
    disclosure requirements on justices—and Vladeck pointed to Article III,
    Section 2 of the Constitution, which gives the Supreme Court jurisdiction
    over cases “under such regulations as the Congress shall make.”

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    Crucial Quote

    ??“I marvel at all the nonsense that has been written about me in the last year,” Alito told the Journal, saying that while “the traditional idea
    about how judges and justices should behave is they should be mute” in the
    face of criticism and let others defend them, “that’s just not happening.
    And so at a certain point I’ve said to myself, nobody else is going to do
    this, so I have to defend myself.”
    What To Watch For

    The ethics legislation in Congress is unlikely to become law, as
    Republicans have heavily opposed the Democratic attempts to impose a code
    of ethics on the court, characterizing it as a partisan campaign against
    the conservative-leaning court as punishment for issuing rulings that
    Democrats don’t like. The Washington Post and the Journal have reported
    the Supreme Court has spent years considering whether to impose a code of ethics on itself, rather than Congress taking the lead, but justices have
    been unable to reach a consensus on the issue and nothing has come to
    fruition. The court has declined to publicly comment on its efforts to
    impose a code of ethics, though Chief Justice John Roberts said in May he
    was looking into how to make sure “that we as a court adhere to the
    highest standards of conduct.”
    Surprising Fact

    Alito’s interview with the Journal was conducted in the newspaper’s op-ed section by attorney David Rivkin, who has litigated at the Supreme Court
    and has a case before the court next term. Rivkin also represents
    conservative legal activist Leonard Leo, who has been criticized for his
    role in shaping the conservative-leaning Supreme Court, and responded on
    Leo’s behalf to a recent congressional subpoena asking about Leo’s
    relationship with Alito, after ProPublica reported Leo also attended
    Singer’s luxury fishing trip. The request was part of a congressional investigation into the Supreme Court’s ethics issues, as Alito opposes.
    Chief Critic

    Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who introduced the ethics bill, said on Twitter that Rivkin’s authoring of the Journal interview “shows how small
    and shallow the pool of operatives is around this captured Court.” His
    office directed Forbes to comments the senator made when the Judiciary Committee voted on the legislation, when Whitehouse noted “the Court’s financial disclosure requirements are a law, passed by Congress; its
    recusal requirements are a law, passed by Congress; and the body that implements financial disclosure and code of conduct issues is the Judicial Conference, a body created by Congress. ... For decades the justices
    themselves have never objected to, and have actually, repeatedly and
    without complaint, complied with this structure, so even the Court has demonstrated it doesn’t believe that canard.”

    Alito’s interview with Rivkin for the Journal included a number of other comments about the court’s work. The justice said he and his conservative colleagues have “very serious differences” when it comes to how they
    decide cases, with Justice Clarence Thomas giving less weight to precedent
    than others, for instance, and Roberts “put[ing] a high premium on
    consensus.” Alito said he puts an emphasis on historical context, noting
    he didn’t believe same-sex marriage should have been legalized because
    “nobody in 1868 thought that the 14th Amendment was going to protect the
    right to same-sex marriage,” and that anti-discrimination statutes that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex shouldn’t include sexual orientation and gender identity because it was clear lawmakers hadn’t
    intended that when passing laws in 1964. Alito also defended the court overturning Roe v. Wade and the federal right to an abortion, saying,
    “Some decisions—and I think that Roe and [abortion rights case Planned Parenthood v. Casey] fell in this category—are so egregiously wrong, so
    clearly wrong, that’s a very strong factor in support of overruling.” The court’s decisions on whether to overturn its precedent are a “judgment
    call,” Alito said, noting reasons for not overturning previous cases
    include being unsure whether a case should be overruled, not having
    majority support for doing so or wanting lower courts or scholars to
    address an issue first.
    Key Background

    Alito’s interview with the Journal comes after the justice previously used
    the publication to defend himself against the ProPublica report about his
    trip with Singer. The justice released an op-ed prior to the ProPublica
    piece being published, in which he claimed he didn’t know about Singer’s connection to cases before the court or feel he had to disclose the trip, arguing he flew on Singer’s private jet in a seat that “would have
    otherwise been vacant.” The Senate Judiciary Committee cited the report as
    a reason for it to move forward with voting on Supreme Court ethics legislation, which had already been building momentum in light of multiple controversial reports about Thomas’ relationship with real estate
    developer and GOP donor Harlan Crow. Thomas accepted decades worth of free luxury travel with Crow without disclosing it, along with other
    transactions like selling real estate to Crow and having the magnate pay
    for the justice’s grand-nephew’s private school tuition.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/alisondurkee/2023/07/28/supreme-court- justice-alito-slams-congress-efforts-to-impose-code-of-ethics-on-court/? sh=2a318ef94a93

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