Investigation into Justice Alito's involvement with right-wing groups demanded after Hobby Lobby leak accusation
Justice Samuel Alito (Photo via Erin Schaff / for AFP)

The advocacy group Demand Justice, is asking that Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito be investigated after a New York Times report that suggested he may have leaked the Hobby Lobby decision before the official ruling was revealed.

“The Senate Judiciary Committee should immediately move to investigate the apparent leak by Justice Alito,” said Brian Fallon, the Demand Justice executive director, said The Guardian. “This bombshell report is the latest proof that the Republican justices on the court are little more than politicians in robes. It’s no wonder trust in the court has hit a record low. Structural reform of the court, including strict new ethics rules, is needed now more than ever.”

The Times report cited a letter to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts dated 7 June, in which anti-abortion minister Rob Schenck, wrote that he needed to tell the judge about “a series of events that may impinge on the investigation you and your delegates are undertaking in connection with the leak of a draft opinion."

The news comes after the leak of Alito's extremist opinion in the Dobbs case was given to the press months ahead of the ruling, leading to fear among women's rights groups, and fury from the right wing, which demanded to know who the leaker was and demanded that they be prosecuted.

In the Times report, Schenck described a dinner with a political donor invited to Alito's home for dinner. The minister offered to try and glean information about the Hobby Lobby case that blocks the access to birth control because it isn't something the company supports.

The following day, the Times reported, the dining guest called Schenck and told him Alito had written the majority opinion for the Hobby Lobby case and said that they would win. A month later it was announced.

Fallon thinks Schenck “should be called to testify about both the leak and the years-long lobbying effort he once led to cultivate Alito and other Republican justices."

This is the second justice that has come under fire for potential ethics concerns this year. Justice Clarence Thomas has caused many Americans to question the ethical behavior of the Court has fallen to the justices' own political desires. Thomas's wife, Ginni Thomas, is deeply involved in a movement that aims to change pieces of the law in the court where her husband has a voice.

Schenck concluded his letter to Roberts, saying he “thought this previous incident might bear some consideration by you and others involved in the process."

It's unclear if that has impacted the investigation into the Dobbs leak or if the Dobbs leak is investigating the justices themselves. Even if Alito was found to have leaked the decision, there are no consequences for anything that the Justices do. If a Justice breaks any rules, there is no form of accountability. They police themselves.

What has become clear is that American confidence in the Supreme Court has cratered in polls over the past years. Confidence in what is supposed to be the non-political

How that directly reflects on the current investigation into the leak of the Dobbs decision is not clear, but it arrives at a time of concern for the court’s legitimacy as it works under the sway of a conservative supermajority. Polls show that a majority of Americans are losing confidence in the Supreme Court.

Alito has joined conservatives' calls against the leaker, saying it was a "grave betrayal." After the report, he claimed that he wasn't the leaker.

“The allegation that the Wrights were told the outcome of the decision in the Hobby Lobby case, or the authorship of the opinion of the Court, by me or my wife is completely false,” Alito said.

"My wife and I became acquainted with the Wrights some years ago because of their strong support for the Supreme Court Historical Society, and since then, we have had a casual and purely social relationship," he went on. "I never detected any effort on the part of the Wrights to obtain confidential information or to influence anything that I did in either an official or private capacity, and I would have strongly objected if they had done so. I have no knowledge of any project that they allegedly undertook for ‘Faith and Action,’ ‘Faith and Liberty,’ or any similar group, and I would be shocked and offended if those allegations are true."