Justice Samuel Alito pushes back on calls for him to step away from case

 September 10, 2023

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito spoke out against calls from Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) to remove himself from an upcoming case.

Alito's response came to Durbin's letter asking the justice to recuse himself because a lawyer in an upcoming case once interviewed him while serving as a journalist.

The issue

“'This argument is unsound,' Alito responded. He explained that the lawyer in question – David Rivkin – was acting as a journalist in the interview, then went through a litany of other justices who participated in interviews with media companies who then had cases before the court. None of those other justices recused in any of those cases," Breitbart News reported.

"This continues the Far Left’s pattern of attempting 'reverse court-packing,' in which Democrats failed to pass legislation to add seats to the Supreme Court, so they are instead making historically ungrounded arguments as to why conservative justices must not sit on certain cases," it added.

Alito's argument

“Because this case is scheduled to be heard soon, and because of the attention my planned participation in this case has already received, I respond to these concerns now,” Alito wrote in a four-page statement Friday.

“There is no valid reason for my recusal in this case,” Alito continued.

Durbin's accusations

"Justice Alito, of the originalist school of thinking that empty seats on an airplane don’t count as gifts, surprises no one by sitting on a case involving a lawyer who honored him with a puff piece in the Wall Street Journal. Why do these Justices continue to take a wrecking ball to the reputation of the highest court in the land?" Durbin said.

"The Court is in a crisis of its own making, and Justice Alito and the rest of the Court should be doing everything in their power to regain public trust, not the opposite," he added.

Durbin has long been opposed to conservative justices on the Supreme Court, seeking efforts to limit their ability to rule on cases of importance to Democrats.

The senator has also been behind the push for a code of ethics for the Supreme Court that would seek to allow more power from Congress over justices.

The efforts have so far failed, but Durbin is expected to continue his fight as long as conservatives hold a majority in the court.

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