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“Wright” and Wrong According to Justice Alito.

Posted on | November 21, 2022 | 2 Comments

Mike Magee

Justice Samuel Alito surfaced this past week once again around issues of judicial independence and his network of friends. Late last week, Rev. Rob Schenck, who for years led a shadowy anti-abortion movement in Washington, DC, “Faith and Action,” had a serious change of heart. He reported that the leakage of this year’s Dobb’s decision (which Alito wrote) was part of a pattern of transgressions dating back more than a decade.

Now an all-in whistle-blower, Schenck reported that “Sam” (as he referred to the Justice) and wife Martha-Ann, were “besties” with his major donor, Ohio real estate moguls Donald and Gayle Wright. (Also on the private social list in Wright e-mails were “CT” and wife Ginny). Their friendship had been cemented at weekend hunting visits to the Wright’s Jackson Hole, WY, retreat. At a private dinner with the Alito’s in June, 2014, Schenck said that the Justice tipped the Wrights off regarding the future decision (not yet announced) of the Hobby Lobby case. This allowed conservatives to fully prepare for the public backlash certain to follow a decision in their favor.

One response to the decision came from the 55,000 gynecologists strong American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists(ACOG) which rang the now current themes of women’s autonomy and enfranchised citizenship, stating, “a woman’s boss has no role to play in her personal health care decisions…The value of family planning, including contraception, is clear. It allows women to time and space their pregnancies, leading to more optimal health outcomes for mother and for baby. And it helps to prevent unintended pregnancy; in America, nearly one half of all pregnancies are unintended.”

In that 5-4 decision in favor of Evangelical Christian purveyor of all things crafty, Hobby Lobby, corporate entities “gained a conscience”, just like individuals, and the right to pick and choose from the menu of 20 forms of contraception required under the Affordable Care Act. Hobby Lobby chose to delete 2 morning after pills and 2 intra-uterine devices (IUD’d) they considered to be abortion inducers.

As important, that early success provided “proof of concept” that intense socialization with Justices and their spouses, through non-profit intermediaries like Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law & Justice, the Supreme Court Historical Society, and “Faith and Action”, could move decisions in conservatives favor, and provide early intelligence to manage political and public repercussions of controversial opinions.

The coalitions built around the “Hobby Lobby” victory also reinforced efforts to develop and advance conservative Catholic justices, and (with Obama nominations blocked and Trump in office) ultimately reverse Roe v. Wade.

Justice Alito’s reliability has been an anchor during this transition. His May 3, 2022 leak of the future Dobbs decision should be viewed through the lens of the testimony provided by Justices Kavanaugh, Barrett, and Gorsuch, under oath, on the topic during their confirmation hearings. Alito and these co-signers on his recent draft assured that Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey were different since “[a]bortion destroys . . . potential life” and “none of the other decisions cited by Roe and Casey “involve the critical moral question posed by abortion.” 

Justice Clarence Thomas wasted no time making the unvarnished conservative view at the Court perfectly clear in a concurrence statement , “…in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including GriswoldLawrence, and Obergefell.” These cases respectively deal with legal contraception, anti-sodomy laws, and same-sex marriage.

The history and performance of these five Justices, their original and current supporters, their documented religious orthodoxy, and the web of conservative schools and think tanks that nurtured their well-entrenched biases all suggest “buyer beware.”

Comments

2 Responses to ““Wright” and Wrong According to Justice Alito.”

  1. Joshua Sands
    November 22nd, 2022 @ 11:12 am

    Mike, thanks for highlighting this corruption of our highest court. This court in trusted to enforce the separation of church and state in our constitution instead lives the opposite with these faith groups influencing their decisions. This is a story that probably scratches the surface of the religious influence on some of our justices.

  2. Mike Magee
    November 22nd, 2022 @ 11:23 am

    Thanks, Josh. I think you are right. The full story likely goes all the way back to when Paul Weyrich, Pat Robertson, and Jerry Falwell decided that abortion would be the unifying theme for their new “Moral Majority” in the late 70’s, necessitating that Evangelicals Christian join the “other team” (Catholics and their signature issue – abortion and contraception). Best, Mike

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