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Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Justice Barrett Gets It Right; Justice Alito Gets Angry

My new essay at The American Prospect compares the reactions of Justice Amy Coney Barrett (reasonable) to Samuel Alito (over the top) regarding revelations about their financial disclosures.

Here is the gist:

It is sometimes possible to gauge the legitimacy of an exposé by the nature of the response. Consider, for example, recent revelations concerning Supreme Court justices Amy Coney Barrett and Samuel Alito.

Following Barrett’s confirmation, which required moving from South Bend, Indiana, to Washington, D.C., she and her husband sold their home to Brendan Wilson, an incoming Notre Dame law professor, for $905,000.

Barrett’s response was complete silence, declining to answer CNN’s inquiry. That was reasonable because there was nothing to the story.

Barrett trusted the public to recognize a non-event, and indeed the story had no legs.

Compare that with Justice Samuel Alito’s frantic reaction when he learned that ProPublica had obtained information about his 2008 Alaska vacation with a group of Republican donors and activists, with private jet travel courtesy of hedge fund CEO Paul Singer, also a mega-donor to conservative causes.

Alito’s panicky attempt to preempt the ProPublica story stands in sharp contrast to Barrett’s calm silence, revealing, at the very least, his unspoken recognition that the reporters have unearthed some very inconvenient truths.

once defended Alito’s handling of ethics issues, but not this time.

You can read the entire essay at The American Prospect.

Posted by Steve Lubet on June 28, 2023 at 06:16 AM | Permalink


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