June 22, 2023

Whitehouse Releases Episode Two of His Podcast “Making the Case” to Expose Operators Behind Far-Right Scheme to Capture the Supreme Court

Episode two available now on Spotify and Apple

Washington, DC – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Courts Subcommittee, today dropped episode two of his new podcast, Making the Case, breaking down the right-wing operators and phony front groups behind the effort to capture the Supreme Court for Republican billionaires and big special interests.  The second episode of Making the Case is now available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and other podcast platforms.

“While Leonard Leo was organizing free luxury vacations for Justices Alito and Thomas, and funneling money to Ginni Thomas’s consulting firm, Leo had been working away at a far more insidious plot.  Armed with a flotilla of phony front groups and boatloads of billionaires’ dark money, Leo and other right-wing activists were stacking the Supreme Court with a far-right supermajority that is now delivering big for the right-wing billionaires,” said Whitehouse.  “Tune in as we make the case about what – and who – is really driving the ethical mischief and disastrous decisions coming out of the Court.”

In the second episode of Making the Case, Whitehouse is again joined by Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA), Slate senior editor Dahlia Lithwick, and Lisa Graves of True North Research to discuss Leonard Leo and the other the key players in the far-right Court-capture effort, including the phony front groups they used to prop it all up.

New reporting from ProPublica this week found that Justice Samuel Alito accepted private jet travel to an all-expenses-paid Alaskan fishing vacation from hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer.  Singer, who contributed has contributed over $80 million to Republican political organizations, subsequently had business before the Court.  Alito’s luxury vacation was organized by Leonard Leo, the engineer of the current right-wing Supreme Court supermajority, and Alito’s lodging was provided by the billionaire Robin Arkley II, who funded the launch of Leo’s primary advocacy group, the Judicial Crisis Network. 

Further reporting from the Washington Post revealed that in 2012, Leonard Leo directed payments of at least $25,000 to a consulting firm run by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife, Ginni Thomas, and asked that her name be left off the paperwork.

Whitehouse has long been the Senate’s leading voice for improving transparency and accountability at the Supreme Court, delivering a series of speeches on the Senate floor about the special interest scheme to remake the judicial branch.  Whitehouse is working to pass legislation endorsed by The New York Times that would create an enforceable code of ethics for Supreme Court justices.  The Senate Judiciary Courts Subcommittee held a hearing on the legislation last week, and the full Judiciary Committee will mark up Supreme Court ethics legislation in the next work period.  The Senator has also introduced legislation to create term limits at the Court.

Meaghan McCabe,(202) 224-2921

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Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921