Here we go…Alito runs back to his PR team (the WSJ Opinion Section) to whine about how he has to break norms to defend himself — ironically as he stands accused of breaking norms — but the real kicker is he gloats that he doesn’t believe Congress can impose ethics requirements. pic.twitter.com/H97tbU6eZg
— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) July 28, 2023
The lawyer who “wrote” this is also the lawyer blocking our investigation into Leonard Leo’s Supreme Court freebies.
Shows how small and shallow the pool of operatives is around this captured Court — same folks keep popping up wearing new hats. https://t.co/NUaoxpBy8a
— Sheldon Whitehouse (@SenWhitehouse) July 28, 2023
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) July 28, 2023
Josh Kovensky, for TPM:
… Rivkin regularly writes for the Journal’s opinion section, and is an attorney at law firm Baker Hostetler. It’s there that he has a key item of business before the Court: he’s part of a team representing the plaintiffs in Moore v. U.S., a case which asks the Court to upend the country’s tax system and potentially foreclose a wealth tax of the sort some Democrats have championed in recent years.
Rivkin and his co-author, editorial features editor James Taranto, disclosed in the column that Rivkin had a case before the Court. They wrote that Alito sat with them for more than four hours of interviews across two sessions, with the first taking place in April.
The column itself lavishes more than 2,400 words on Alito, praising him for a “candor that is refreshing and can be startling.” Alito used the interview to assail an effort by Senate Democrats to pass a judicial ethics bill, which would impose a code of conduct on all justices on the Court.
“Congress did not create the Supreme Court,” Alito told the interviewers. “I know this is a controversial view, but I’m willing to say it,” he added. “No provision in the Constitution gives them the authority to regulate the Supreme Court — period.”…
Steven Rosenthal, a tax attorney and expert at Urban-Brookings, has described the Moore case as potentially destructive to the tax code, and expressed shock to TPM in a phone call that Alito did the interview.
“He’s either tone deaf, or simply doesn’t give a damn about ethics and the appearance of conflict,” Rosenthal told TPM.
Rivkin’s involvement in the Moore case goes back to when it was first filed at the District Court level in 2019.
In September 2021, he and another attorney representing the plaintiffs wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal presenting the case as a way for the Supreme Court to head off any potential future wealth tax of the kind that was under consideration by Democratic legislators at the time.
“If [the plaintiffs] prevail,” they wrote, “that would confirm that the Supreme Court’s precedents … remain good law, clearly barring any kind of federal property tax, including a wealth tax — unless Congress apportions it, which there is no obvious way to do.”
The plaintiffs lost at both the district court and appellate levels, and asked the Supreme Court to hear the case in March 2023…
Alito told Rivkin that he holds himself to higher ethical and disclosure standards than are mandated by law…
‘Just Us’ Alito: Try and stop me before I kill again. Bwa-ha-ha!
— Mike Sacks (@MikeSacksEsq) July 28, 2023
David Rivkin landed a fawning on-the-record interview with Alito shortly after the Supreme Court took up Rivkin’s case seeking to roll back the federal income tax. Legendary stuff. https://t.co/GvMPBFjjVY pic.twitter.com/zCWh2ycPNw
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) July 28, 2023
Just to be clear, *without* legislation enacted by Congress, #SCOTUS would have one Justice; no budget; no building; no staff; no library; and no cases to resolve other than interstate disputes—the proceedings and dispositions of which the lone Justice would have to self-fund.
— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) July 28, 2023
🧵 Again, one of the hallmarks of far right authoritarians like Alito is the engagement in performative public lying, wherein they know they are lying, you know they are lying, & they want to show you that they can get away with it. https://t.co/KQjHYunlFw
— Mark Copelovitch (@mcopelov) July 28, 2023