July 13, 2024

Wall Street Journal defends Justice Alito after op-ed backlash

Washington Examiner| by David Zimmermann | June 22, 2023

The editorial board of the Wall Street Journal defended Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito’s op-ed while slamming the ProPublica report claiming he flouted ethics rules.

The Wall Street Journal published Alito’s prebuttal essay, in which he argued there was no need to disclose a fishing vacation he took with a Republican donor in his job’s financial report, on Tuesday evening hours before ProPublica released its story about the justice.

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board defended its decision to allow Alito to get out in front of the story after facing criticism.

“The political assault on the Supreme Court continues, and the latest Justice in the grinder is Samuel Alito,” the board wrote. “As usual, this is a non-scandal built on partisan spin intended to harm the Justice and the current Court majority.”

ProPublica Editor-in-Chief Stephen Engelberg went on the record to fire back at the rival publication for releasing Alito’s op-ed before audiences could read the report. Engelberg told the New York Times he wondered “whether The Journal fact-checked the essay before publication.”

The Wall Street Journal stood by its decision.

“Justice Alito is still on the Court so he is the big fish that ProPublica is attempting to catch and fillet,” the board wrote. “We are defending the Court because someone has to. Someone has to stand up for judicial independence and an institution that is part of the bedrock of our constitutional order.”

ProPublica also accused the associate justice of failing to recuse himself from Supreme Court cases that involved billionaire megadonor Paul Singer, from whom Alito accepted an invitation to an Alaskan fishing trip in 2008. Alito got ahead of the news cycle by writing his thoughts on the matter, calling the report “misleading” and denying the validity of such charges.

The attack on Alito followed a series of stories ProPublica published about Justice Clarence Thomas earlier this year.

Both sets of stories have drawn cries from Democratic lawmakers that the two conservative justices should face disciplinary action and recuse themselves from various cases. However, Republicans have pushed back, alleging the stories are attempts to undermine the authority of the court’s rulings.

Source: Wall Street Journal defends Justice Alito after op-ed backlash | Washington Examiner

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