Justice Brett Kavanaugh reportedly attended a private holiday party over the weekend at the home of the chairman of the Conservative Political Action Coalition.
According to Bloomberg Law, Stephen Miller also attended the party. Miller’s group, America First Legal Foundation, has interests pending in several Supreme Court cases.
“Supreme Court justices should be extraordinarily careful in not only having no actual ethical difficulties but having no appearance of an ethical conundrum as well,” Emory University School of Law professor Tonja Jacobi said.
Charles Geyh, a professor at an Indiana University Maurer School of Law, said Kavanaugh attended the party with people who “live, eat, and breathe conservative political action” and that it was the “worst possible time for this.”
This isn’t the first time critics have pointed to the Supreme Court justices’ choice of events. In June, Justice Sonia Sotomayor delivered a talk at an event hosted by the American Constitution Society, a liberal-leaning group.
Also, just a week ago, a Christian advocacy group’s former leader was questioned about allegations he made that Justice Samuel Alito leaked the outcome of the 2014 Supreme Court decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobbybefore it was announced. Rev. Robert Schenck said Alito told a friend about the upcoming decision at a private dinner at Alito’s home.
The decision allows private companies to claim religious exemptions from a mandate in the Affordable Care Act that required companies to cover birth control.
Meanwhile, Supreme Court Legal Counsel Ethan Torrey told lawmakers in a November letter that Alito did not violate ethical standards and followed rules that allowed him to “maintain normal personal friendships.”
According to a September Gallup poll, Americans appear to trust the Supreme Court less. In the poll, just 47 percent said they have a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust in the judiciary. Two years ago, that number was nearly 70 percent.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla/Staff
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.