Justice Alito Attends Fundraiser, Violates U.S. Courts Code of Conduct

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    According to the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, a judge “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.” What exactly does Justice Alito not understand about that?

    UPDATE: This video apparently was taken at the Robert L. Bartley Dinner on November 9, 2010. The dinner was held at the Capital Hilton, was put on by The American Spectator, and “was made possible by this year’s Platinum Sponsors – Lawrence Auriana, Paul Charnetzki, and T. Boone Pickens.”  The Keynote Speaker was Rep. Michelle Bachmann, and “presenters” included Alfred S. Regnery and R. Emmett Tyrell, Jr. Other notable sponsors included Eagle Publishing, Americans for Prosperity, and a long list of right-wing figures.

    UPDATE #2: Thanks to the superb Think Progress for the great job in getting this video and posting it on YouTube right away. A tremendous public service, as usual with ThinkProgress. Also, see their full story by Lee Fang here. Again, great job!

    • vaambition

      Where was this filmed and what is the date

    • Teddy Goodson

      His Honor attended a conservative function, and rules do not apply to Republicans.* If you have temporal power, it is because God loves you, and one thing notable about God is that he loves people with power, if they are Republicans. Just ask the Family and the residents of that C street house.

      *”Laws are for little people,” remember?

    • Catzmaw

      who was there about a month ago of Justice Scalia appearing at some event at the Sheraton in WDC, a fundraiser attended by several very wealthy muckety-mucks attended by their own security details.  He told me Scalia posed for a lot of pictures with these people.  I can’t remember the date offhand, but it was the day after the premiere of that Republican sponsored cartoon flick called “I Want Your Money”, which it was claimed had been produced for $500,000 by some “independent” conservative producer.  I never saw or heard anything about this event in the press.  The source of this information is utterly reliable.  This same source has also seen Justice Thomas at such events and they ARE fundraisers.  

    • K in VA

      This looks like an event for a bunch of rightwingers. But I don’t think his attandance is a violation of the code. It was not an event for a candidate and not an event for a partisan election-related group.

      Yeah, these days every group is political to some extent. But what the code describes is implicitly partisan political events, not events for a right-wing cause.

      But the code ought to be revised. For appearance sake.

    • VADEM

      think he could be impeached but of course no one would do THAT. I think the code is toothless.

    • KathyinBlacksburg

      under pressure from the ideological “right” wing members of the court.  But the “right” wing extremist court members can do this kind of stuff.

      And Clarence Thomas’s wife allegedly accepts a huge donation to her corporate funded Tea Party group!  But this is not a problem?  

      Kagan should NOT recuse herself from half the caseload, but be much more selective in what she recuses herself in.  Why do Dems always wimp out and cave???????  They are just asking to be walked all over.

    • n/t

    • cvllelaw

      As I understand the situation, the dinner was sponsored by The American Spectator, which is not a “political organization” as a legal matter.  That is not to say that it doesn’t take positions on matters of policy, but so do the ACLU, the NAACP, and a lot of other organizations that I support.  The fact that Alito hangs with conservatives is hardly news.

      I should add here — my wife is subject to the Judicial Canons of Ethics, and we consider carefully every even vaguely political meeting that she goes to.  She will go to an NAACP dinner, for example, and the Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission has told us that that is OK.  She could not go to a dinner for the NAACP PAC (if there is one), but she can go to a dinner for the NAACP.  If the purpose of the gathering is to raise money for a political organization (be it a party or a PAC) or candidate, or if it is sponsored by a political organization or candidate, she can’t go.  

      Similarly, Alito can go to a dinner to raise money for The American Spectator, but he could not go to a dinner to raise money for The American Spectator PAC (if there is one).

      I don’t like the fact that Alito regards The American Spectator as something that he wants to support, and I don’t like the fact that he is apparently eating dinner with T. Boone Pickens and the folks at Americans for Prosperity, but the fact that I don’t like it doesn’t make it unethical.