by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito rejected calls from Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) for his recusal from an upcoming case, saying the partisan Democrat’s argument is legally “unsound.”
Durbin sent a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts on August 3, urging Roberts “to take appropriate steps to ensure” that Alito recused. Alito refused to do so (and there is no indication that Roberts asked him to) and issued a statement explaining his decision.
Alito educated Durbin on the law through his statement, instructing the leftwing Senate Judiciary Committee chairman that “when there is no sound reason for a Justice to recuse, the Justice has a duty to sit” on the bench and hear each case.
“There is no valid reason for my recusal in this case,” Alito observed. Durbin called for recusal because Alito had participated in a public interview that was partly conducted by a lawyer who was going to argue a case before the Supreme Court.
“This argument is unsound,” Alito responded. He explained that the lawyer in question – David Rivkin – was acting as a journalist in the interview, then went through a litany of other justices who participated in interviews with media companies who then had cases before the court.
None of those other justices recused in any of those cases.
This continues the Far Left’s pattern of attempting “reverse court-packing,” in which Democrats failed to pass legislation to add seats to the Supreme Court, so they are instead making historically ungrounded arguments as to why conservative justices must not sit on certain cases.
Partisan Democrats more often attack Justice Clarence Thomas, as they recently tried regarding the justice’s friendships, only to see their smears backfire when Thomas’s financial disclosures refute the accusations. The Left is even going after private citizens who are friends with the conservative justices, like Leonard Leo, the chairman of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Federalist Society.