Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Senator Whitehouse’s Selective Search for Dark Money

Yesterday, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.) chaired a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on “What’s Wrong with the Supreme Court: The Big-Money Assault on Our Judiciary.” It was largely what you would expect. Senator Whitehouse and his hand-picked witnesses weaved a sinister tale of corporate influence and special interest manipulation, in which Leonard Leo played a starring role. Meanwhile, Scott Walter of the Capital Research Center documented the more long-standing and extensive networks of progressive money seeking to influence the legal system with which Senator Whitehouse and his witnesses were not particularly concerned. (Maybe this is “light money”?) I also testified, explaining why the claims that the Roberts Court is particularly activist or business-oriented in its rulings are untrue. Somehow, I doubt Senator Whitehouse was convinced. The full video and links to written testimony are here.

Jonathan H. Adler — Mr. Adler is an NRO contributing editor and the inaugural Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. His latest book is Marijuana Federalism: Uncle Sam and Mary Jane.


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