Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

CORRUPTION in the Supreme Court

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, December 8, 2022

Re: Supreme Court of the United States

“Does this institution need to change in some way to regain the public trust?”

The short answer is a resoundingYES!”

Now, read on to learn at least one stunning reason why.

There’s PLENTY of brouhaha and he-said-she-said nonsense reported as “journalism” these days, and the same is absolutely true with this most recent matter concerning allegations that a previous decision from the SCOTUS, specifically referring to news that a “leak” about how a decision would be rendered in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., would be rendered.

In short, the 2014 case revolved around birth control, that the defendant, Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. wanted to deny birth control to Burwell the plaintiff, and asserted that they had a legal right to do so.

In essence the ruling “permits a closely held for-profit corporation [meaning one that is privately held by an individual, family, or family trust] to deny its employees the health coverage of contraceptives to which the employees are otherwise entitled by the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA), based on the religious objections of the corporation’s owners.”

Hobby Lobby is a multi-billion dollar, for-profit, privately held corporation owned by the Green family of Oklahoma City, OK, which has just under 1000 stores nationwide, over 43,000 employees, and describes itself as an “arts & crafts store,” which imports most, if not all, of their merchandise from China, India, Vietnam, and other developing nations. Very little, if any, of the merchandise they sell is American made.

With a net worth of $15.1 BILLION estimated by Forbes, the Green family members are Evangelical Christians, and the company was founded in 1972. In the company’s 50-year history, it, and/or its owners have been criticized for numerous deceptive and questionable activities, and have been found guilty in Federal court in 2017 of smuggling ancient middle eastern antiquities — 5,500 artifacts purchased for $1.6 billion — which were later learned to have been looted from archeological sites, and shipped in boxes deliberately deceptively labeled as “tile samples,” to their Oklahoma City corporate headquarters. For that crime, they were ordered to pay a $3 million fine, forced to return the booty, and forfeited the money which they spent to illegally purchase the loot. From 2018-2020, they also later confessed that fragments of a document which they claimed were portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls, were forgeries, though they presented them as authentic in their Washington, DC-based “Museum of the Bible.” And in March 2020, the Greens announced that they would be repatriating 11,500 additional ancient artifacts to Iraq and Egypt.

As the COVID pandemic began to rage and claim lives, dropping humans like so many flies, the company refused to close its stores in numerous locations because Deborah Green, the founder’s spouse, claimed to have “heard a message from God” to keep them open, and further falsely claimed that they were an “essential” service employer which exempted them from compliance with various states’ and local laws ordering businesses closed for public health preservation, to prevent spread of the disease. Later, under pressure from employees concerned for their own safety and welfare, the corporation acquiesced to their employees’ pressure, closed all stores, and furloughed every employee, which led at least two employees to remark, “This has all been so stressful and exhausting. I don’t want to stay home because I’m too lazy to work. I want to stay home to do my part to stop the spread of the virus.” -and- “The line our manager gave us [from corporate] was, ‘The employees got what the employees wanted; the stores were closed.’ My question was, ‘Did God tell them they needed to close the stores and not pay us?'”

In the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. ruling, the SCOTUS held that not only can corporations have, practice, and espouse a religion, but that they can also deny healthcare treatment to anyone in the organization who may need a medication which the corporation finds onerous, or objectionable, based upon ostensibly religious grounds.

It’s not about “rights” as the plaintiffs allege, it’s about CONTROL — specifically, control over others in an effort to manipulate them, to force them to abide by manipulator’s beliefs — NOT about individual liberty, or freedom.

This most recent revelation of a much-earlier leak comes on the heels of another similarly related, though much more blatant, and publicly observed leak: A decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a ruling from 6  so-called “conservative,” Republican-appointed Justices — 3 questionable appointments who were nominees by The Federalist Society via then-POTUS Donald Trump — whose combined opinions effectively overturned Roe v. Wade, a 1973 decision allowing abortion, and the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey which affirmed Roe. A copy of a draft in the Dobbs ruling was “leaked” to POLITICO, and was later authenticated by CJ Roberts.
see: https://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/21835435/scotus-initial-draft.pdf

The 6 GOP-nominated right-wing radicals all attested, under oath, during their confirmation hearings, that Roe was well-established and settled legal precedent of very nearly 50 years, that its rendering was unimpeachable, and unquestionable. Of course, lawyers that they are, they artfully dodged giving a straight-forward and direct answer when asked their opinions of the Roe decision — stare decisis be damned. Naturally, it has led to justifiable moral outrage from many who contend that such deception under oath is an impeachable offense. And, it very well may be.

Naturally, Justice Alito, and others, have denied that any such thing occurred, and further denied that he “leaked” information on how the Hobby Lobby ruling would be made.


Rob Schenck, the longtime vehemently radicalized Evangelical protagonist in this matter, goes into GREAT DETAIL describing how he was the one whose idea to duplicitously train of a group of spies to infiltrate the SCOTUS with well-heeled, wealthy couples, to literally establish friendships with the Justices in order to corruptly influence them toward decisions favorable to his group, including most notably, anti-abortion decisions, has COME CLEAN AFTER he had a change of heart… which occurred interestingly enough, in a Montgomery, Alabama jail cell, the temporary abode of another renown civil rights leader — the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.

That’s right. IN HIS OWN WORDS, Rob Schenck confesses to EVERYTHING. In fact, as part of his sense of guilt and remorse for what he had done, making the monstrous demonic organization, and for wicked deeds he did, and caused others to do in that process, he sent a letter to Chief Justice Roberts informing him of his actions, and how he played them like a fiddle. Seems it was a part of the change of heart he had.

Here’s the pertinent excerpt of Schenck’s letter to CJ Roberts.

NOTE: The letter is dated June 7, 2022, and is annotated with “Dated June but was sent in July.”
Schenck has acknowledged that he authored, and mailed the letter, though he waited for a time after composing it, to mail it.

“Back in June 2014, when so many awaited the Court’s opinion in Burwell V. Hobby Lobby, I was informed by a donor to the Capitol Hill-based non-profit organization I led that she and her husband would be dining at the home of Justice and Mrs. Alito. She suggested that in their table conversation , she might be able to learn the status of the case, something she knew I had an interest in knowing. I received a follow-up message from her notifying me she had indeed obtained the information during that visit . We spoke on the phone, and she detailed the revelation. As I recall, we talked about the Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, and how they, too, would be interested in this information.

“Over the ensuing three weeks, I kept this sensitive information to myself, undetectably using it to assist me in preparing for the inevitable announcement. Then, a day or two before the opinion was released, I called Mr. Steve Green, CEO of Hobby Lobby, and reported what knew of the Court’s finding. He thanked me, and we did not speak again about it until October of that year.”

Here’s his letter in full:

In response to these matters as the revelations and confessions were published, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Federal Courts, Oversight, Agency Action, and Federal Rights, and Representative Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr., D-GA, Chairman, House Judiciary Subcommittee, on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, co-authored 2 letters to CJ Roberts, with the second to him and to Ethan V. Torrey, Legal Counsel, Supreme Court of the United States, inquiring about that matter. 

Here’s their initial letter, dated September 7, 2022:

Here’s their 2nd, follow-up letter dated November 20, 2022:

Regarding his “change of heart,” Schenck was interviewed on several occasions by the New York Times, portions of which were published in the podcast “The Daily,” (which I WHOLEHEARTEDLY encourage you to review — there’s also a transcript). The episode is about 40 minutes.

A Secret Campaign to Influence the Supreme Court
Inside an evangelical minister’s yearslong effort.
Tuesday, November 29, 2022

No special app required to listen.

The transcript may be found here:

And, if you’d rather, here’s the DIRECT URL for the mp3 audio, which will open in any browser window, and on any mobile device.

The reason WHY I encourage you to listen, is because Schenck is interviewed, and IN HIS OWN WORDS, confesses and… well, here’s an excerpt from the transcript.

Jodi Kantor

He’s at the head of this anti-abortion organization, but he’s beginning to have doubts privately. And it has to do with a bigger political picture. For example, he becomes very involved in efforts to combat gun violence. And he feels like if you want to preserve human life in this country, that is part of the way to do it. And then he also begins to question his own views on abortion.

So there’s one story in particular he points to when he’s talking about this transformation.

Rob Schenck

I was in Montgomery, Alabama. I was arrested for my protest activity. And because the jail was overpopulated at that time, they stuck me in a cell on the psychiatric wing of the jail. And about three cell doors down from me, there was a woman who was obviously mentally ill, and she was screaming just endlessly.

And she was pleading for someone to come to the aid of her children. Please, somebody help my kids. I have three babies. Where are my babies? Who’s taking care of them? And I was thinking, why isn’t anyone coming to this woman? No one cared. Nobody was coming to this woman’s aid.

And during my years in the anti-abortion movement, I had this vision always of a woman, rosy-cheeked, always white, cradling the baby. And we use these images quite often.

Jodi Kantor

Like the Gerber baby.

Rob Schenck

Yes. Cradling a little Gerber baby that she had just given birth to because she listened to our pleas for her to not kill her child. And why would any woman want to choose abortion when she could have this level of happiness? But that wasn’t the reality of this woman’s life and experience with her children. It snapped me out of that imaginary world I had been in.

And I realized, in our movement, we had demanded that women in an unwelcome pregnancy enter our fantasy of an idyllic life where the baby born to you will be loved, will be supported. There will be an army of pro-lifers who will come around her and support her and provide everything from diapers to medical care to child care, and on and on it goes. Well, there is no such reality.

Jodi Kantor

What he basically says is that he wishes he lived in a perfect world in which abortion wasn’t necessary, in which every child could be cared for, but that because we don’t live in that world, he feels like it has to be allowed. So by 2018, he actually writes an op-ed in “The Times” urging Roe to stand.

Michael Barbaro

So he does a complete 180 on the central animating forces behind this whole project.

Jodi Kantor

He breaks with the movement, and he’s regarded as a traitor. But what he says is that by the time the Dobbs leak came around — that’s the leak to “Politico” of the decision overturning the right to abortion — that that provoked a second crisis of faith for him.

Now, that’s NOT the end of the story, but more importantly exposes a level of corruption inherent in the SCOTUS, the glaring deficiencies it has with a practically wholesale lack of oversight, the utter absence of any code of ethics to which they must adhere, questionable conduct concerning matters of recusal, and WHY it needs to be required to adhere to Federal Ethics Laws that EVERY OTHER FEDERAL JUDGE DOES.

Presently, the SCOTUS has no such legal requirement.

NOT a joke.

NOT exaggeration.

NOT hyperbole.

The SCOTUS is in such drastically dire need of wholesale reform in so MANY ways, that it’s NOT FUNNY.

Here’s the OpEd which Reverend Schenck wrote, which was published in the New York Times May 30, 2019.

I Was an Anti-Abortion Crusader. Now I Support Roe v. Wade.
Overturning the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision would not be “pro-life.” It would be destructive of life.
May 30, 2019
by Rob Schenck
Mr. Schenck is an evangelical minister.

“For more than 30 years I worked to overturn Roe v. Wade. As an evangelical minister, I was deeply engaged in the world of the religious right, beginning with my vote for Ronald Reagan for president in 1980. I believed he would appoint Supreme Court justices committed to protecting unborn children, and Antonin Scalia, appointed in 1986, fulfilled my expectations. Later, when President George Bush nominated to the court another strong pro-lifer, Clarence Thomas, I led a vigil at our church to pray for his confirmation.

“During those years I also recruited, trained and directed thousands of protesters who blocked the doors to abortion clinics, marched in the streets to denounce “baby killing” and staged sit-ins at the offices of legislators. I was a leader of Operation Rescue, the activist pro-life group; I helped stage the epic 1992 anti-abortion demonstrations in Buffalo. I went to jail and paid exorbitant fines for my advocacy, and was even arrested by the Secret Service for my role in thrusting an aborted fetus at Gov. Bill Clinton during his 1992 presidential campaign. Eventually, I founded a national organization to advance the anti-abortion agenda.

“Given my history, you might think I would be thrilled at the perilous threshold at which Roe now stands, following the passage of sweeping new abortion restrictions in such states as Alabama, Georgia and Missouri. I’m not.

“Over the last decade, I have changed my view on Roe. I’ve come to believe that overturning Roe would not be “pro-life”; rather, it would be destructive of life. I have witnessed firsthand and now appreciate the full significance of the terrible poverty, social marginalization and baldfaced racism that persists in many of the states whose legislators are now essentially banning abortion. If Roe is overturned, middle- and upper-class white women will still secure access to abortions by traveling to states where abortion is not banned, but members of minorities and poor whites will too often find themselves forced to bear children for whom they cannot adequately care.

“What is “pro-life” about putting a woman in a situation where she must risk pregnancy without proper medical, social and emotional support? What is “pro-life” about forcing the birth of a child, if that child will enter a world of rejection, deprivation and insecurity, to say nothing of the fear, anxiety and danger that comes with poverty, crime and a lack of educational and employment opportunities?

“Consider the situation in Alabama. The Alabama Senate approved a measure this month that would outlaw almost all abortions in the state. I know Alabama well. I was arrested and served jail time there for my activism in the early 2000s. While being processed and incarcerated, I met men and women — primarily members of minorities and poor whites — whose daily lives consisted of one crisis after the next. Many of them lacked even the most rudimentary life skills, including what it takes to raise a child. They were in a state of perpetual panic about money, about the bewildering circumstances they found themselves in, feeling victimized by their very existence. Some spoke to me of their children, agonizing over how helpless they felt in providing anything for them.

“The experience left me feeling hollow inside. Alabama does have a network of “crisis pregnancy centers,” which offer support for women and their babies. But that support is limited, and should Roe be overturned, those centers will be woefully insufficient to help these women and their families raise and care for their children.”

“The Code of Conduct for United States Judges includes the ethical canons that apply to federal judges and provides guidance on their performance of official duties and engagement in a variety of outside activities.”

“This Code applies to United States circuit judges, district judges, Court of International Trade judges, Court of Federal Claims judges, bankruptcy judges, and magistrate judges. Certain provisions of this Code apply to special masters and commissioners as indicated in the “Compliance” section. The Tax Court, Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces have adopted this Code.”

The Code of Conduct
United States Judges
to the
Supreme Court.

Canon 3: A Judge Should Perform the Duties of the Office Fairly, Impartially and Diligently

C. Disqualification

(1) A judge shall disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned, including but not limited to instances in which:

(a) the judge has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding;

(b) the judge served as a lawyer in the matter in controversy, or a lawyer with whom the judge previously practiced law served during such association as a lawyer concerning the matter, or the judge or lawyer has been a material witness;

(c) the judge knows that the judge, individually or as a fiduciary, or the judge’s spouse or minor child residing in the judge’s household, has a financial interest in the subject matter in controversy or in a party to the proceeding, or any other interest that could be affected substantially by the outcome of the proceeding;

(d) the judge or the judge’s spouse, or a person related to either within the third degree of relationship, or the spouse of such a person is:

(i) a party to the proceeding, or an officer, director, or trustee of a party;

(ii) acting as a lawyer in the proceeding;

(iii) known by the judge to have an interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding; or

(iv) to the judge’s knowledge likely to be a material witness in the proceeding;

(e) the judge has served in governmental employment and in that capacity participated as a judge (in a previous judicial position), counsel, advisor, or material witness concerning the proceeding or has expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case in controversy


UPDATE: Thursday, December 8, 2022

Today, the Reverend Rob Schenck, testified to the House Judiciary Committee, and stated in part, that, “Throughout this ordeal, I’ve had to look deeply at what my cohorts and I did. I believe we pushed the boundaries of Christian ethics and compromised the high court’s promise to administer equal justice.”

Testimony of the witnesses — Ms. Caroline Fredrickson, Visiting Professor, Georgetown Law, Senior Fellow, Brennan Center for Justice; Mr. Mark R. Paoletta, Partner, Schaerr Jaffe LLP; Rev. Robert L. Schenck, President and Founder, The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute; and Mr. Donald K. Sherman, Senior Vice President and Chief Counsel, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) — may be found here:

Hearing: Undue Influence: ‘Operation Higher Court’ and Politicking at SCOTUS
Committee on the Judiciary


The FULL hearing may be viewed on the C-SPAN website:

And, a majority portion, but NOT all, may be viewed on YouTube.

NOTE: The YouTube video is SHORT, and does NOT include the ENTIRE hearing, whereas the C-SPAN video does.

Former Evangelical Activist Says He ‘Pushed The Boundaries’ In Supreme Court Dealings
Thursday, December 8, 2022, 5:28 PM ET
Heard on All Things Considered
by Sarah McCammon

Right-wing Christian activists sought to work their way into the social circles of conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court justices — offering prayers, meals, “warm personal greetings,” and occasionally even travel — in an effort to “embolden” the justices to advance their policy agenda, the former leader of an evangelical nonprofit told members of Congress on Thursday.

“Throughout this ordeal, I’ve had to look deeply at what my cohorts and I did at the Supreme Court,” Rev. Rob Schenck testified during a House Judiciary Committee hearing. “I believe we pushed the boundaries of Christian ethics and compromised the high court’s promise to administer equal justice.”

‘Stealth missionaries’

Schenck, who until 2018 led a group known then as Faith and Action, now describes himself as a “dissenting evangelical.” He said he recruited and trained “stealth missionaries” for a project called Operation High Court.

They worked to bolster the justices’ conservative views on issues including abortion and same-sex marriage, he said, sometimes achieving a rare level of access and intimacy with the judges.

“In one instance, Justice [Clarence] Thomas commended me, saying something like, ‘Keep up what you’re doing; it’s making a difference,’ ” Schenck told the committee.

Descriptions of a leak from several years ago

Soon after the unprecedented leak in May of the landmark Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization opinion that overturned Roe v. Wade, Schenck came forward with his own story of a possible leak years earlier, which he described in a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts in June and in interviews with the New York Times.

The Reverend Rob Schenck testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on the matter of the absence of a Code of Ethics that applies to the United States Supreme Court, Thursday, December 8, 2022. Seated behind him is Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, wife of SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas, who infamously refused to recuse himself in a matter involving her.

Schenck said that in 2014, a donor to his organization had dined at the home of Justice Samuel Alito. Afterward, Schenck said, the donor told him she’d learned there that the decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, a case before the court that centered on religious liberty, would be favorable to conservatives.

Schenck said the donor shared that information with him weeks before the decision was released to the public, and he used it to prepare a response in advance. Alito wrote the majority opinion in both that case and the Dobbs decision on abortion this summer.

Questions from Republicans

Republican members of the Judiciary Committee, including ranking member Jim Jordan of Ohio, expressed skepticism about Schenck’s story, which Jordan described as “8-year-old second-hand hearsay.”

Jordan noted that both the donor, Gayle Wright, and Justice Alito have denied being involved in leaking the information, and questioned Schenck’s motives for coming forward with the story.

In recent years, Schenck has said publicly that his political views have changed significantly and that he now opposes what he calls “extreme” restrictions on abortion.

A call for ethics reform

The Dobbs leak has prompted rampant speculation about who might have been responsible. Activists on each side of the abortion issue have pointed fingers at those on the other.

In the aftermath of both the leak and Schenck’s allegations, Democratic House leaders are hoping to gain insight into relationships between conservative activists and the courts. Some watchdog groups would like to see the court adopt an ethics code for the justices.

“While this breach of trust was undoubtedly a serious incident, made even more troubling in light of the leak of the Dobbs opinion earlier this year, it should not be the key takeaway from Rev. Schenck’s story,” Chairman Jerry Nadler told his committee. “The moral of the story is this — Supreme Court justices can’t effectively self-police their own ethics. We shouldn’t expect them to.”

Democrats have proposed legislation that would impose a code of ethics on the justices, but so far have been unable to pass it. Such proposals likely would face an even more uphill battle in the newly divided Congress.

Advocates for reform argue the justices should be subject to disclosure rules for gifts and clear criteria for recusing themselves from cases that could affect their family members or close associates.

In addition to whatever action Congress might take, Justice Roberts also has ordered an internal investigation into the source of the Dobbs leak in. It’s unclear when that probe will be completed or if the results will be made public.

EVEN IF the all claims of Reverend Schenck’s testimony were discounted, the proverbial “elephant in the room” is the undisputed fact that Justices on the SCOTUS have taken free trips and hobnobbed with individuals who could have business before the court.

An article on Gawker, authored by Gabrielle Bluestone, and published 02/26/16 11:01AM, stated, in part, that:

“When Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia died, he was on a free hunting trip sponsored by a friend who had had business before the Court the year before. Turns out Scalia took hundreds of “free” trips—more than any other Supreme Court justice on the bench.

According to the New York Times, which examined the Center for Responsive Politics database, Scalia went on at least 258 so-called subsidized trips between 2004 and 2014. In 2014 alone, the paper reports, he took at least 23 free trips to places like Hawaii, Ireland and Switzerland.

“(For comparison’s sake, the next most traveled justice over the same time period was Stephen Breyer, who took 148 trips. John Roberts took the least, with about 48 trips.)

“At least some of Scalia’s free trips were for business purposes like “giving speeches, participating in moot court events or teaching classes,” but not all — Scalia was reportedly participating in a group hunting trip with a secret all-male society when he died.

“And at least some of those vacations were sponsored by people who had or could reasonably be expected to have business before the Supreme Court.

“In 2011, Scalia declined to recuse himself from the Citizens United case after it came to light that he and Justice Clarence Thomas had attended a Palm Springs retreat funded by Charles Koch and the Federalist Group, which reportedly sponsored at least 21 trips for Scalia to places like Park City [Utah, snow skiing], Napa [California, wine country resorts], and Bozeman, Montana. The group, which also sponsored a trip for Justice Samuel Alito, declined to fund any trips for the more liberal justices.”

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