NYT: Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito leaked 2014 anti-contraception ruling to evangelicals

Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito leaked the 2014 anti-contraception ruling to evangelicals (archive.org), reports the New York Times. It quotes one of those pressuring conservatives on the court, and finds contemporaneous emails that corroborate his claim.

In a letter to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and in interviews with The New York Times, the Rev. Rob Schenck said he was told the outcome of the 2014 case weeks before it was announced. He used that information to prepare a public relations push, records show, and he said that at the last minute he tipped off the president of Hobby Lobby, the craft store chain owned by Christian evangelicals that was the winning party in the case. …

In early June 2014, an Ohio couple who were Mr. Schenck's star donors shared a meal with Justice Alito and his wife, Martha-Ann. A day later, Gayle Wright, one of the pair, contacted Mr. Schenck, according to an email reviewed by The Times. "Rob, if you want some interesting news please call. No emails," she wrote.

Mr. Schenck said Mrs. Wright told him that the decision would be favorable to Hobby Lobby, and that Justice Alito had written the majority opinion. Three weeks later, that's exactly what happened. The court ruled, in a 5-4 vote, that requiring family-owned corporations to pay for insurance covering contraception violated their religious freedoms. The decision would have major implications for birth control access, President Barack Obama's new health care law and corporations' ability to claim religious rights.

There's no smoking gun in the form of recordings or communications from Alito, but he's as exposed as a liar as far you could ever reasonably hope someone in his position to be.

Frustrating that The New York Times had this story months ago and waited until after the midterm elections to run it, but also très New York Times.