WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Accountable.US published a new report revealing conservative judicial activist 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.
After decades of influence peddling, Leonard Leo is intimately involved in nearly every major decision coming out of this Supreme Court,” said Accountable.US president Kyle Herrig. “Leo’s manipulation of the judiciary has led to a systematic roll-back of rights, a full-blown corruption crisis, and ultimately, a rapid decline in public trust in our Court.”
“The agenda that Leo is imposing on Americans is not an agenda he could get done at the ballot box,” Herrig added. “Instead of operating transparently and openly, Leonard Leo has benefitted his entire career from using the machinations of government and machinations of the court to impose an extremely unpopular agenda on the American people.”
Leo has close ties to critical upcoming cases, including:
- Moore v. Harper, an effort to give partisan, gerrymandered state legislatures sole power over elections. Leo-connected groups including the Honest Elections Project and the Public Interest Legal Foundation have filed amicus briefs endorsing the fringe “independent state legislature” theory.
- 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, a challenge to Colorado’s anti-discrimination law by 303 Creative that could allow for discrimination against LGBTQ couples. Lawyers for 303 Creative come from the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is funded by Leo-connected DonorsTrust.
- Biden v. Nebraska and Department of Education v. Brown, a pair of cases challenging President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program. Leo’s Concord Fund has routed over $13 million to the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), and in turn, seventeen members of RAGA filed a brief arguing for overturning loan forgiveness.
- Groff v. DeJoy, a case expanding the scope of religious accommodations. The Becket Fund, which filed an amicus brief arguing against the government, counts Leonard Leo as both a board member and a contributor through his 85 Fund.
- Sackett v. EPA, a damaging May 2023 decision undermining the Clean Water Act. All of the lawyers who argued against the EPA are active Federalist Society members and have ties to the Donors Trust-funded Pacific Legal Foundation.
The full report can be found HERE.
Ahead of the next round of SCOTUS decisions, Kyle Herrig of Accountable.US, Alex Aronson formerly of Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s office, and Tiffany Muller of End Citizens United/Let America Vote Action Fund, held a press call to discuss Leo’s influence.
“There is irrefutable evidence of Leonard Leo capturing the courts and influencing Supreme Court decisions to benefit his special interest donors. By funneling enormous amounts of dark money into the nomination and confirmation process, his network has effectively tilted the scales of justice,” said Tiffany Muller, President of End Citizens United/Let America Vote Action Fund. “Is justice truly blind, or is it simply a commodity to be bought and sold by those with the deepest pockets?”
“From elections and democracy issues, to LGBTQ and affirmative action, to attacks on clean water and environmental protection, what we see here is an orchestrated and very well-funded effort to manipulate American life and law through the judicial branch,” said Alex Aronson, Former Chief Counsel for Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse.
A full recording of the call can be found here.