Supreme Court Justice Alito becomes latest target of partisan activist media and Democrats

By 
 June 29, 2023

For the past few months, partisan activists backed by media allies and Democratic politicians have waged a coordinated series of attacks against conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas over alleged ethics disclosure failures.

The same forces behind those attacks on Thomas have now shifted their sights to one of his fellow conservative colleagues on the high court, Justice Samuel Alito, with a remarkably similar assault over alleged unethical failures to properly disclose certain "gifts" received, according to a report from NPR.

However, unlike how Thomas responded with a brief explanatory statement after the initial attacks earlier this year, Alito issued a preemptive counterstrike of his own with an op-ed article that was published before the recent attack against him.

Leftist activists set sights on Alito

Last week, left-leaning media outlet ProPublica -- the same activist outlet behind the coordinated attacks on Justice Thomas -- published a lengthy article that sought to make hay over a 2008 fishing trip to Alaska that Justice Alito took.

The article alleged that Alito received a ride on a private jet chartered by billionaire Paul Singer, a big Republican donor, that would have cost the jurist more than $100,000 if he had chartered it himself.

It also alleged that Alito's lodging at a supposed luxury resort was paid for by another Republican donor, Robin Arkley II, had been organized by the leader of the right-leaning Federalist Society, Leonard Leo, and had included as a guest another conservative federal judge named A. Raymond Randolph.

ProPublica asserted that Alito should have, but didn't disclose the "gifts" received in the form of the free ride on the private jet and paid-for accommodations at the lodge.

It also raised a stink over Alito's failure to recuse himself several years later from a case before the Supreme Court involving a company partially owned by Singer that was locked in a financial dispute with the nation of Argentina and was ultimately decided in overwhelming fashion, 7-1, in favor of the company.

Alito's preemptive counterstrike

Both ProPublica and NPR expressed feigned shock that Justice Alito, rather than provide comment for ProPublica's hit piece or respond after the fact, took the initiative and provided his own explanation for the alleged ethics shortcomings in an op-ed published by The Wall Street Journal.

Alito first tackled the issue of recusal and pointed out that he had been under no obligation to recuse himself from the 2014 case involving a company connected to Singer, even if he had been aware of the connection -- which was not obvious or noted in any of the legal documents -- with Singer.

Additionally, he had not discussed the company's financial dispute with Argentina, or any other legal issues for that matter, with Singer, who by the way did not, in effect, pay for Alito's transportation on the private jet but merely allowed him to occupy a seat that would otherwise have been left empty after the jurist was invited on the trip at the last moment by somebody else.

As for the purported failure to disclose the flight and lodging, Alito noted that such disclosures fell under a longstanding "personal hospitality" exemption that only recently, within the past few months, was updated and clarified and narrowed in terms of disclosure requirements.

Partisan purpose of attacks is clear to all

The Federalist reported on the surprising turnabout of Justice Alito's preemptive counterattack on the ProPublic hitpiece and, as is always too easy, highlighted the grossly partisan double standard of the activist outlet's incessant focus on alleged ethical violations by Republican-appointed jurists like Alito and Thomas while blatantly ignoring ample evidence of similar supposed failures by liberal-leaning Democrat-appointed justices.

"Americans may have historically low trust in the head of the judicial branch of the U.S. government but their trust in media is far lower," the conservative outlet noted. "That trust will only continue to drop as Americans see the clearly coordinated campaign between Democrats, court-packing activists, and corporate media outlets to disempower the judicial branch."

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