Judiciary Democrats — led by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) — this week called for stronger transparency requirements for groups funding amicus briefs aiming to influence Supreme Court decisions. Their action comes after a recent Politico investigative report revealed that key judicial influencer Leonard Leo is linked to most conservative briefs in current high-profile Supreme Court cases.

Judicial activists like Leonard Leo have long used amici briefs to push an extreme agenda through the courts because they know they would never win at the ballot box. This step by leading Judiciary Democrats is critical in holding Leo and others accountable for their continued efforts to manipulate the court and undermine American democracy."

Accountable.US President Caroline Ciccone

In a letter to the Judicial Conference, Sen. Whitehouse and Rep. Johnson noted that “many amici that have filed briefs in recent, high-profile Supreme Court cases share funding connections to common, ideological donors.”

According to the initial Politico report, Leo and his network are directly or indirectly connected to at least 69% of the 259 amicus briefs submitted on behalf of conservatives across seven of the most consequential recent Supreme Court cases.

“Given the opaque nature of Leo’s network, it’s difficult to tally up just how much money has been spent on conservative legal advocacy linked to him,” the report noted. “Yet just the two leading groups in his funding network, The Concord Fund and The 85 Fund, spent at least $21.5 million between 2011 and 2021 on groups advocating for conservative rulings.”

Learn more about Leonard Leo, his dark money network, and his radical agenda at LeonardLeo.org.

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