The breathtaking hypocrisy of Alito
He's a Fox News talking head masquerading as a Supreme Court justice.
Personal note from Aaron: My father’s funeral was Saturday, and I’m taking a step back from work for a couple weeks to grieve and clear my head. (ICYMI, you can read my tribute to my dad here and his obituary here.) I appreciate your support during this difficult time. You’ll be seeing less of my writing in the newsletter through the week of the 4th of July, but thankfully I have lots of good stuff lined up from brilliant contributors like Lisa, Liz Dye, and Noah Berlatsky.
Another week, another story about a hard-right Supreme Court justice being more than happy to vacation with billionaires who have business before the court.
This time, it's Samuel Alito. But where Justice Clarence Thomas has been relatively quiet since the revelation of his multiple billionaire vacations, Alito was unhappy enough about being asked to comment in advance of ProPublica’s story that he ran to the friendly confines of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page to try to get ahead of the story.
It didn't work. If Alito hoped his op-ed would defuse things, it only made him look worse. His explanation that it was fine to take a seat on a private plane because it would otherwise have been empty was wildly tone-deaf and prompted instant mockery. So too did his rationale that he wasn't very close friends with Paul Singer, the billionaire transporting him. It apparently did not occur to Alito that regular folk are not typically offered seats on private planes, particularly by people they supposedly barely know.
Indeed, Alito’s explanation was the mirror image of Thomas’s justification: Thomas said it was fine for him to travel on billionaire Harlan Crow’s private plane and yacht because they are such good friends. So, whether they are just acquaintances or the closest of friends, it is never improper for conservative Supreme Court justices to receive outlandishly expensive trips and gifts from billionaires.
This piece is an exclusive for paid Public Notice subscribers. To read this post, support our work, and have full access to the site going forward, please become a paid subscriber if you aren’t one already. Thanks.
This isn’t the first time Alito sought out a media audience that would be receptive to his claims. Alito is carving a very Trumpian path for himself these days — inherently combative, outraged that anyone could have the audacity to question his decisions, and carefully enclosed in a right-wing media bubble. Imagine the endless howls if Justice Sonia Sotomayor ran to MSNBC to do a media hit every time someone questioned her integrity or one of the court’s decisions. That’s essentially what Alito is doing here.
Alito is brazenly partisan, but gets mad when called out on it
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Public Notice to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.