Former pro-life activist accuses Justice Alito of leaking Dobbs, Hobby Lobby decisions

It still remains unknown who was responsible for the premature leak of a draft copy of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision in June that overturned Roe v. Wade, but a former pro-life activist now claims that he might know who leaked that opinion to the media.

A reverend named Robert Schenck appears to have blamed Justice Samuel Alito for the Dobbs leak by alleging that Alito had previously leaked the consequential Hobby Lobby decision in 2014 prior to its release, the Conservative Brief reported.

Schenck, who no longer leads a pro-life organization, claims to have learned the outcome of the 2014 Hobby Lobby case — which dealt with private businesses and contraception and Obamacare — prior to public release through a friend and fellow activist who had dinner with Alito and then later allegedly shared the news with him afterward.

Former activist accuses Alito of leaks

The New York Times reported on Rev. Schenck’s claim that had been laid out in a letter he sent this summer to Chief Justice John Roberts with regard to the announced investigation into the seemingly unprecedented leak of the draft copy of the Dobbs decision to the media.

In the one-page letter dated in June but sent in July, Schenck wrote, “I write to inform you of a series of events that may impinge on the investigation you and your delegates are undertaking in connection with the leak of a draft opinion.”

He went on to allege that in June 2014, a donor to his former non-profit organization had informed him that she and her husband would be dining with Justice Alito and his wife and that she might be able to learn the outcome of the pending Hobby Lobby decision — information she then later shared with him the next day. The former activist further alleged that he kept that information to himself for several weeks but ultimately notified Hobby Lobby CEO Steve Green of the Supreme Court’s favorable ruling just days before it was released publicly.

“Considering there may be a severe penalty to be paid by whoever is responsible for the initial leak of the recent draft opinion, I thought this previous incident might bear some consideration by you and others involved in the process,” Schenck concluded in his letter to Roberts. “Of course, I would be happy to fully cooperate should you find any value in other details surrounding what I have transmitted here.”

The donor says accusation is “just not true”

The Conservative Brief noted that even The New York Times acknowledged that there were “gaps” in Schenck’s account that cast doubt on his claims, though there were reportedly “contemporaneous emails and conversations” that seemed to suggest that he knew the outcome of the Hobby Lobby decision before it was released.

However, The Washington Post that both Justice Alito and the donor, identified as Gayle Wright, strongly denied the allegations put forward by Schenck about a purported leak of the 2014 ruling that said private family-owned businesses like Green’s Hobby Lobby were not required to provide contraception to employees, as had been mandated by Obamacare.

Wright told the Post that while she had been friends with Schenck and did have dinner with Alito, there was no leak in 2014. “It’s just not true. [Alito] didn’t discuss it at all,” she said. “It’s a cardinal rule. You don’t ask or discuss a case with a justice. They wouldn’t want to be your friends anymore.”

Alito says the allegation is “completely false”

As for Justice Alito, he told the Post, “The allegation that the Wrights were told the outcome of the decision in the Hobby Lobby case, or the authorship of the opinion of the Court, by me or my wife is completely false.”

“My wife and I became acquainted with the Wrights some years ago because of their strong support for the Supreme Court Historical Society, and since then, we have had a casual and purely social relationship,” he added. “I never detected any effort on the part of the Wrights to obtain confidential information or to influence anything that I did in either an official or private capacity, and I would have strongly objected if they had done so.”

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