Saturday, November 19, 2022

Another leak

Extraordinary news in The New York Times: “Former Anti-Abortion Leader Alleges Another Supreme Court Breach.” The former leader is the Reverend Rob Schenck, who has modified his view of abortion and is now, the Times says, redefining himself as “a progressive evangelical leader”:

In early June 2014, an Ohio couple who were Mr. Schenck’s star donors shared a meal with Justice [Samuel] Alito and his wife, Martha-Ann. A day later, Gayle Wright, one of the pair, contacted Mr. Schenck, according to an email reviewed by The Times. “Rob, if you want some interesting news please call. No emails,” she wrote.

Mr. Schenck said Mrs. Wright told him that the decision would be favorable to Hobby Lobby, and that Justice Alito had written the majority opinion. Three weeks later, that’s exactly what happened. The court ruled, in a 5-4 vote, that requiring family-owned corporations to pay for insurance covering contraception violated their religious freedoms. The decision would have major implications for birth control access, President Barack Obama’s new health care law and corporations’ ability to claim religious rights.
Matthew Butterick, who made a brilliant analysis of the leaked PDF of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization draft decision, has commented on Alito’s denial. From the Times:
Justice Alito, in a statement issued through the court’s spokeswoman, denied disclosing the decision. He said that he and his wife shared a “casual and purely social relationship” with the Wrights, and did not dispute that the two couples ate together on June 3, 2014. But the justice said that 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.”
And Butterick:
Unfortunately, this is the kind of denial that raises more questions than it answers due to the deliberately narrow phrase “were told”. The denial would remain true even if, say, Ms. Alito had put a copy of the draft opinion on the table, allowed Ms. Wright to look it over, and then taken it back — no “telling”, just showing.
You can read Butterick’s analysis on the PDF and his comments on the Schenck story here.

I am moved to poetry:
Did Samuel Alito
Think it was neato
To spill SCOTUS beans in advance?

He’s gotta deny it,
And say he kept quiet,
But what’s that I smell? Burning pants.
[Note: I am not saying that Alito is not telling the truth.]

comments: 3

The Crow said...

Of course not!


The Crow said...


Is Blogger censoring our comments now? When I hit the publish button a bit ago, their error message read that there was an error, that they couldn't process my response. I was instructed to use the reload icon and try again. My response was nowhere to be seen.


Michael Leddy said...

I’ve had that happen too. It’s a Blogger glitch of some sort.

Another, at least on the Mac: you have to disable “Prevent cross-site tracking” to be able to leave a comment from your Blogger account. (That is, when you’re signed into your account.)