The New York Times also published a letter Schenck said he wrote Chief Justice John Roberts in July alerting him to the alleged breach years ago. Schenck wrote that he thought the information might be relevant as part of a probe into the leak of the abortion decision.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a statement Saturday that the committee is "reviewing these serious allegations," and he called on fellow members of Congress to pass a bill that would require the high court to adopt a code of ethics.
Two fellow Democrats, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia, who chair courts subcommittees, issued a statement calling the Times report “another black mark on the Supreme Court's increasingly marred ethical record” and said they “intend to get to the bottom of these serious allegations.” They too urged passage of a code of ethics.
The Times' story included an emphatic denial by Alito that he'd disclosed the outcome of the case. The court released Alito's full statement to The Associated Press:
“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.
"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. I have no knowledge of any project that they allegedly undertook for ‘Faith and Action,’ ‘Faith and Liberty,’ or any similar group, and I would be shocked and offended if those allegations are true,” it said.
Schenck's Faith and Action group became Faith & Liberty after becoming part of the Liberty Counsel in 2018.
Alito was appointed to the high court in 2006 by President George W. Bush.