But what about claims like Nan Aron’s that Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas supposedly “appear[ed] at political strategy conferences hosted by the conservative Koch brothers”?
Given the brazenly persistent distortions, I will point out once again that according to the Supreme Court spokeswoman’s account (at the end of this article), Scalia spoke about international law at a Federalist Society dinner sponsored by Charles and Elizabeth Koch in January 2007 “and did not attend the separate political and strategy meeting hosted by the Kochs.” Thomas spoke about his autobiography at a similar Federalist Society dinner sponsored by Charles and Elizabeth Koch in January 2008. Thomas then made “a brief drop-by” at “one of the separate Koch meeting sessions” but “was not a participant.”
Playing Aron’s silly game, I could as easily point out that (according to this New Yorker account) in August 2004 the Aspen Institute hosted a “clandestine summit meeting” of five billionaires who “shared a common goal: to use their fortunes to engineer the defeat of President George W. Bush in the 2004 election.” The wealthiest of these “hard-core partisans” was George Soros, a “leading crusader for campaign-finance reform.” Further, Soros, through his Open Society Institute, provides support for the Aspen Institute, which runs various activities, including its Justice and Society Seminars. And guess who has taken part in these Soros-supported seminars? “U.S. Supreme Court Justices Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and John Paul Stevens.”
I also will note that no one seems to have found it remarkable (and I’m not maintaining that anyone should have) that, say, Justice Ginsburg took part in 2009 in deciding the high-profile judicial-ethics case of Caperton v. Massey, notwithstanding the fact that one amicus, the Soros-supported Brennan Center for Justice, had paid her costs to attend a 2006 event (see Attachment B here) and another, the Soros-supported American Judicature Society, had paid her costs to attend a 2007 event (see Attachment B here). Or that Justice Breyer, at the same time that he was taking part in Rumsfeld v. FAIR, had NYU cover his costs to attend an event at NYU law school, one of the members of FAIR, and that Harvard law school, an amicus in the case, covered his costs to attend an event at Harvard. (See page 3 here.)