Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito has been called a “disgrace” after a new report revealed that he allegedly leaked an opinion draft related to a SCOTUS decision in 2014.
“The Supreme Court Leaker – for Dobbs and Hobby Lobby – was Samuel Alito. Alito is a disgrace to this nation and as dangerous as any terrorist. He must be forced off the Court,” political commentator Keith Olbermann tweeted on Saturday.
Meanwhile, New York Representative Mondaire Jones tweeted: “Today’s well-sourced NY Times article strongly suggests Justice Alito leaked the 2014 opinion in Hobby Lobby, and describes a conspiracy by the far-right donor class to influence the Supreme Court Justices. The House Judiciary Committee must investigate this while we still can.”
Olbermann and Jones referenced a Saturday report by The New York Times that stated Alito was allegedly responsible for leaking the majority opinion in the 2014 case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.
The Times cited claims made by Reverend Rob Schenck who told the newspaper that he was informed about the outcome of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby weeks before the Court announced a decision. He also made those claims in a letter he wrote to Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. that dated back to June.
The Court’s decision in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case allowed some employers to withhold contraceptive care from their employees’ health coverage based on their own religious beliefs. Hobby Lobby is a store chain owned by Christian evangelicals who won the case.
Alito wrote the majority opinion in the Hobby Lobby case and Roe v. Wade, a 1973 landmark decision that gave women the federal right to an abortion before it was overturned in June.
While the leak of the Roe v. Wade opinion draft was first disclosed in Politico, the outcome of the Hobby Lobby case was shared with only some conservative advocates, according to the letter to Roberts.
No confirmed details were revealed whether or not Alito leaked the opinion majority draft of Roe v. Wade,but an investigation was launched to find the source of the leak, according to CNN.
Schenck said that he told the president of Hobby Lobby, Steve Green, about the outcome of the case prior to the Court’s publicly announced decision.
He said in the letter that a donor to a nonprofit that he led in Washington, D.C. told him that she and her husband were invited to privately dine with Alito at his house and that she obtained the information about the outcome of the Hobby Lobby case during that visit.
“We spoke on the phone, and she detailed the revelation. As recall, we talked about the Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, and how they, too, would be interested in this information,” Schenck wrote.
Schenck, a former anti-abortion leader and an evangelical clergyman, felt that he should come forward about this now and speak about his attempts to influence the Supreme Court, according to the Times.
“Considering there may be a severe penalty to be paid by whoever is responsible for the initial leak of the recent draft opinion, thought this previous incident might bear some consideration by you and others involved in the process. Of course, I would be happy to fully cooperate should you find any value in other details surrounding what I have transmitted here,” Schenck wrote in the letter.
The allegations made against Alito continued to spark criticism online with Chris Hayes, MSNBC host of All In With Chris Hayes, tweeting: “This is really really shocking stuff. Also seems like someone is definitely outright lying and one of the people who may be just outright lying is Alito.”
Meanwhile, Sawyer Hackett, co-host of Our America podcast, wrote: “Ted Cruz ranted for weeks about the Dobbs leak and wrote an op-ed calling it a ‘leftest assault on the Supreme Court.’ Today we learned about *another* leak in an Alito opinion—will he have anything to say?”
“If the substantial allegations about Alito leaking were being made about a Dem-appointed justice, Republicans would be relentlessly investigating and calling for that justice’s removal — as @MarshaBlackburn unwittingly already did,” Justin Kanew, founder of the Tennessee Holler, tweeted.
“It’s so clear that Justice Alito is corrupt and SCOTUS as an institution is compromised. This is not a legitimate court issuing decisions. It’s an organ of the far right that solely follows outcome determinative logic rather than any reasoned jurisprudence,” Twitter user Alejandra Caraballo tweeted.
Newsweek reached out to the SCOTUS media office for comment.