On Wednesday, a House Oversight Committee hearing on third-party litigation funding was held. Democratic representatives on the committee used a blown-up image of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito—on the now-infamous fishing trip with billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer—to make their points on the ethical issues of “third-party funding” in our courts. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez used her time to speak to witness Kathleen Clark, a Washington University in St. Louis law professor, to highlight Alito’s disgraceful ethical failings.
Ocasio-Cortez began by remarking, “When I first heard that the Republican side was going to be calling a hearing on third-party influence in our courts, I was so excited because I thought, ‘Finally, we are going to address the biggest scandal in American democracy … that we are currently having right now, which is the extraordinary corruption and wholesale purchase of members of the Supreme Court.”
First, Ocasio-Cortez briefly blasted the Federalist Society’s influence on the Supreme Court by way of people like Ginni Thomas and her husband, Justice Clarence Thomas. Then, after directing Clark to 5 U.S. Code 13104, the ethics code pertaining to disclosure requirements connected to gifts received by Supreme Court judges, Ocasio-Cortez tore into Alito, who was pictured behind her on his fishing trip with billionaire Singer. Ocasio-Cortez broke down the well-over $100,000 fishing trip Alito took and did not disclose, and the numerous cases Singer ended up having before the Supreme Court:
“In 2014, in fact, Justice Samuel Alito, along with the court, agreed to resolve a vital issue in a decades-long battle between Singer's hedge fund and the nation of Argentina. ... He did not recuse himself from this case. And, in fact, he used his seat on the Supreme Court after all of this, to rule in Singer's favor. And following the decision, Mr. Singer's hedge fund was ultimately paid $2.4 billion because of this ruling. Not a bad return on investment for a fishing trip there. Now, Professor Clark, would a federal judge on a lower court be required to recuse themselves?”
RELATED STORY: Justice Alito's op-ed is a confession of corruption
The Supreme Court has an ethics problem. There are members on the court who seem to have no problem with living lavish lives paid for by billionaires while not recusing themselves from court cases that directly affect those billionaires’ interests. Alito is one such justice who has been exposed for not claiming thousands of dollars in gifts and trips—including the well-investigated fishing jaunt with hedge fund billionaire Singer that Ocasio-Cortez was singling out.
Alito's post-Dobbs victory tour in Rome paid for by group involved in the case
Sen. Whitehouse lodges ethics complaint against Justice Alito
Democrats remind Alito that he's not a king. Even if he thinks he is
Kerry talks with Drew Linzer, director of the online polling company Civiqs. Drew tells us what the polls say about voters’ feelings toward President Joe Biden and Donald Trump, and what the results would be if the two men were to, say … run against each other for president in 2024. Oh yeah, Drew polled to find out who thinks Donald Trump is guilty of the crimes he’s been indicted for, and whether or not he should see the inside of a jail cell.