You will be relieved to know that SCOTUS did exempt itself from the federal judges’ ethics code a few years ago, so that Justice Alito is not actually breaking any laws — only the public trust in impartiality. (By the way, one of my friends was a secretary at the federal courthouse in Philly where Alito was a judge, and her boss referred to him even then as “that right wing a**shole.”). (Via Think Progress.)
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr. said his involvement with a conservative fundraiser was “not important” after being confronted by a Think Progress blogger Tuesday night.
At a fundraising event for the right-wing magazine American Spectator, Lee Fang of Think Progress asked Alito why he thought it was appropriate to attend such a highly political fundraiser.
“It’s not important that I’m here,” Alito reportedly told Fang.
“You also helped headline this same event two years ago, obviously helping to raise political money as the keynote,” Fang shot back, only to receive the same response from Alito before he walked away. “It’s not important.”
The American Spectator fundraising event featured Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, Republican Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN), US Chamber of Commerce board member William Walton, and major Republican donor Paul Singer.
According to the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, a justice should not “solicit funds for, pay an assessment to, or make a contribution to a political organization or candidate, or attend or purchase a ticket for a dinner or other event sponsored by a political organization or candidate.”
In 2009, Alito also headlined a fundraising dinner for the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, which funded the conservative journalist James O’Keefe and Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell. Alito is reported to have helped the institute raise $70,000.
Alito was nominated to the Supreme Court of the United States by President George W. Bush in October 2005 to replace Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. He has served on the court since January of 2006.