Follow the money to see how oil tycoons rig the courts to get the laws they want.
Millions in dark money to get ultra-right wing lawyers appointed to federal courts. Millions more donated to Republicans to push their nominations. What’s the payback? Rulings to let oil firms make more money by ignoring pollution and global warming.
What about the harm it causes? Tycoons have that rigged too! Make the courts pass voter suppression laws to silence regular Americans so they can’t vote for candidates who would protect the environment.
Follow the money to see how oil tycoons rig the system for themselves.
Follow the money rigging the Supreme Court
Making it harder to fight Global Warming
“The Supreme Court on Thursday limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate carbon emissions from power plants, making it much tougher for President Biden to achieve his goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Stripping Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of its power. The vote was 6 to 3, with the court’s three liberal justices in dissent, saying that the majority had stripped the E.P.A. of “the power to respond to the most pressing environmental challenge of our time.”
Politically divisive. In ruling against the E.P.A., the Supreme Court again waded into a politically divisive issue on the final day of a blockbuster term, adding to the conservative supermajority’s decisions to eliminate the constitutional right to abortion, vastly expand gun rights and further erode the wall separating church and state.” – New York Times
Dark money rigs the courts
Close ties to Supreme Court justices. Leonard Leo is widely known as a confidant to Trump and as executive vice president of the Federalist Society, an influential nonprofit organization for conservative and libertarian lawyers that has close ties to Supreme Court justices. But behind the scenes, Leo is the maestro of a network of interlocking nonprofits working on media campaigns and other initiatives to sway lawmakers by generating public support for conservative judges.” – Washington Post
“At a time when Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are rapidly reshaping federal courts by installing conservative judges and Supreme Court justices, few people outside government have more influence over judicial appointments now than Leonard Leo.
- Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas ran Liberty Consulting.
- Anonymous $550,000 donation. “At the time the group was formed in January 2010, legal ethicists pointed to the fact that Thomas’ husband had sided with the majority in the Citizens United decision, in effect making it possible for Liberty Central to operate with unlimited funding from secret donors. Further questions arose in July 2010 when POLITICO revealed that Liberty Central had received an anonymous $550,000 donation while Justice Thomas and the U.S. Supreme Court were deliberating over the case.” – Source Watch
- “In 2010, Leo served on the board of a tea party group called Liberty Central. Ginni Thomas, wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, received $120,511 as the start-up’s president that year…” – Washington Post
Frontliners For Liberty
- Invaluable ally – “Frontliners for Liberty, it is yet another conservative grassroots organization that FreedomWorks partners with to advance our issue set,” Vicenzi said in an email. “Ginni Thomas, for years, has been an invaluable ally to our activist community when it comes to engaging on shared issues.
- ”Multi million dollar voter suppression campaign – Since Trump lost the election, FreedomWorks has pushed the idea that there needs to be election reforms.
- Conservative lawyer Cleta Mitchell, who used to work with Trump’s campaign, now chairs FreedomWorks’ multimillion dollar National Election Protection Initiative, according to Newsmax.” – CNBC
- CNBC also tried to get answers through Facebook messenger to Stephanie Coleman, who is also listed administrator of the group and the wife of the late Gregory Coleman who was Texas’ solicitor general. **Greg Coleman was once a clerk for Justice Thomas.**
- Coleman and Thomas are repeatedly pictured together on Coleman’s personal Facebook page, including a photo of the two together in December 2016 with former **White House chief strategist Steve Bannon**.
The Supreme Court needs a code of ethics
“Every court in the U.S., including the lower federal courts, long ago adopted some version of the American Bar Association’s Model Code of Judicial Conduct. The Supreme Court is the lone holdout. As Chief Justice John Roberts put it in 2011, “the Court has had no reason to adopt the Code of Conduct as its definitive source of ethical guidance” because “every Justice seeks to follow high ethical standards.
Many vexing ethics questions have arisen… involving anonymous leaks to reporters, participating in industry-funded educational seminars, accepting gifts, praising or criticizing political candidates, charitable fund raising, commenting on legal issues percolating in the lower courts, sitting in cases where their spouse has announced strong opinions on the underlying controversy and vacationing with a litigant whose case is pending before the Court.” – The Hill
TakeAway: Elections matter. Vote for candidates to fix a Supreme Court with no code of ethics that bans abortions, allows hidden guns and unrestricted pollution.
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