Leonard Leo helped organize luxury trip, had relationships with all attendees

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, new reporting revealed that Justice Samuel Alito took a luxury fishing trip organized by conservative kingpin Leonard Leo and attended by Paul Singer, a conservative billionaire who later had cases before the Supreme Court. Alito failed to report the lavish trip on his annual financial disclosures, appearing to violate a federal law requiring justices to disclose most gifts.

As the Supreme Court corruption crisis grows with yet another apparent violation of the Court’s bare minimum ethics code, it’s no surprise that Leonard Leo is right in the middle. He’s the corrupting influence responsible for the rot. As long as Chief Justice Roberts continues to dodge responsibility by refusing to take action, public trust in our Court will continue to plummet. We need reform now.”

Accountable.US president Kyle Herrig.

ProPublica highlights:

“Experts said they could not identify an instance of a justice ruling on a case after receiving an expensive gift paid for by one of the parties.

“If you were good friends, what were you doing ruling on his case?” said Charles Geyh, an Indiana University law professor and leading expert on recusals. “And if you weren’t good friends, what were you doing accepting this?” referring to the flight on the private jet.”

“ProPublica’s investigation sheds new light on how luxury travel has given prominent political donors — including one who has had cases before the Supreme Court — intimate access to the most powerful judges in the country.”

“Leonard Leo, the longtime leader of the conservative Federalist Society, attended and helped organize the Alaska fishing vacation. Leo invited Singer to join, according to a person familiar with the trip, and asked Singer if he and Alito could fly on the billionaire’s jet. Leo had recently played an important role in the justice’s confirmation to the court. Singer and the lodge owner were both major donors to Leo’s political groups.”

“The only clear thread connecting the prominent guests on the trip is that they all had a relationship with Leo. Leo is now a giant in judicial politics who helped handpick Donald Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees and recently received a $1.6 billion donation to further his political interests. Leo’s network of political groups was in its early days, however, when he traveled with Alito to Alaska. It had run an advertising campaign supporting Alito in his confirmation fight, and Leo was reportedly part of the team that prepared Alito for his Senate hearings.

Singer and Arkley, the businessmen who provided the trip to the justice, were both significant donors to Leo’s groups at the time, according to public records and reporting by The Daily Beast. Arkley also sometimes provided Leo with one of his private planes to travel to business meetings, according to a former pilot of Arkley’s.”

Accountable.US recently published a report revealing Leonard Leo’s personal and financial ties to major upcoming Supreme Court decisions. Best known for stacking the courts with far-right extremist judges, Leo is now involved in at least five high-stakes cases with the potential to reshape American society.

Accountable.US has repeatedly called for action in the aftermath of the unprecedented ethics issues undermining the integrity of our nation’s highest court.



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