Supreme Court Attorney: Justice Alito Did Not Breach Ethics

November 29, 2022

The Supreme Court’s in-house attorney pushed back Monday on “uncorroborated” claims that Justice Samuel Alito leaked the outcome of a 2014 case and denied any suggestion that Alito breached ethics rules.

Supreme Court Legal Counsel Ethan Torrey wrote to two Democratic lawmakers, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia, who had written to the Court the day after a November 19 New York Times article alleged that a 2014 dinner party at Alito’s home produced a leak about the case involving religious rights and contraceptives, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores.

The Times had published a letter from a conservative religious leader, Rev. Rob Schenck, alerting Chief Justice John Roberts to the alleged 2014 leak. Schenck had written that he thought the information might be relevant to the investigation into the leaked opinion this past spring on overturning Roe v Wade.

“There is nothing to suggest that Justice Alito’s actions violated ethics standards,” Torrey wrote Monday.

He was appointed the high court’s legal counsel in 2013 to provide support to the Justices “on a variety of case-related issues and legal services for the court as an institution.”

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