If you haven't already lost trust in the United States Supreme Court when it was revealed that Clarence Thomas regularly receives millions of dollars in luxury travel and gifts from a far-right Nazi memorabilia collector, the latest news about Justice Samuel Alito should make it clear that the Supreme Court is a deeply corrupt institution.
After Roe was overturned, Alito was rewarded with a lavish trip to Rome by Notre Dame's Religious Liberty Initiative — an organization that has long been advocating for banning abortion in the United States and has been very active in filing amicus curiae ("friend-of-the-court") briefs in religious liberty cases before the Supreme Court
Last July, Alito was feted in Rome by Notre Dame's Religious Liberty Initiative, which has in recent years joined the growing ranks of conservative legal activists who are finding new favor at the Supreme Court – and forging ties with the justices. The group's legal clinic has filed a series of "friend-of-the-court" briefs in religious liberty cases before the Supreme Court since its founding in 2020.
After the high court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, the group paid for Alito's trip to Rome to deliver a keynote address at a gala hosted at a palace in the heart of the city. It was his first known public appearance after the decision.
At the start of his speech, he thanked the group for the "warm hospitality" it provided to him and his wife, which, he later said, included a stay at a hotel that "looks out over the Roman Forum."
Alito used some fancy lawyering to explain to CNN why everything was above board:
Alito stressed in a statement to CNN that his invitation to speak in Rome was not specifically from the initiative's clinic, which submits the briefs to the court.
"My understanding is that Notre Dame Law School's Religious Liberty Initiative has a number of components, only one of which is a clinic that, like the legal clinics at many other law schools, files amicus briefs in the Supreme Court," the statement said. "I was not invited to speak in Rome by the clinic."
See, it's not Alito's fault! It's those uncommunicative components that are to blame for this massive ethics breach.