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Sam Alito Not Only Luxury Fishing Vacation Whore To Ever Serve On Supreme Court
What in the wide wide world of Dead Scalia is a-goin' on here?
Former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia remains dead. But his sense of irony has still been immortalized in Wednesday’s big ProPublica story about Sam Alito and his adventures inspiring Hemingway to write “The Old Man and the Sea.”
It turns out that Rob Arkley II, the California millionaire who owns the lodge that hosted Alito and the lucky billionaire Paul Singer who by a strange coincidence was traveling there at the same time and gave Alito a lift on his private jet, has some experience taking Supreme Court justices on fancy fishing vacations in Alaska. And we have long known about Scalia’s penchant for accepting luxury vacations from rich people. Or at least we have known about it since the justice went tits-up at a Texas hunting ranch owned by some oil gazillionaire back in 2016. Thus:
In June 2005, Arkley flew Scalia on his private jet to Kodiak Island, Alaska, two of Arkley’s former pilots told ProPublica. Arkley had paid to rent out a remote fishing lodge that cost $3,200 a week per person, according to the lodge’s owner, Martha Sikes.
Who among us ...
On June 9, Arkley’s group chartered a boat, the Happy Hooker IV, to tour Yakutat Bay.
Literally they sailed around Kodiak Island, Alaska, in a boat called the Happy Hooker. Again yr Wonkette posits that we all live in a Christopher Buckley novel.
A photo captures Arkley and Scalia later that day gazing off the side of the boat at the famed Hubbard Glacier. At one point, a guide chiseled chunks off an iceberg and passed them to Scalia. The justice then mixed martinis from Grey Goose vodka and glacier ice.
Yep, there is a picture in the ProPublica story of Scalia standing on the deck of the Happy Hooker IV and waving a bottle of vodka over a cocktail mixer and a handful of martini glasses laid out before him. Vodka? What savages. All those billions, at least buy yourselves some class:
Harvard Law School Library, Historical & Special Collections
We just cannot with the image of a Supreme Court justice who thought climate change was a bunch of hooey scraping ice off of one of the world’s quickly disappearing glaciers to put in his Grey Goose martini. Maybe our descendants will, in some future post-environmental apocalypse hellscape, at least get to burn this picture for warmth while somewhere off in hell, Scalia laughs maniacally as he and Satan share a couple of stogies.
And would you believe Scalia didn’t report this trip on his 2005 financial disclosure forms? You would? Good for you, mix yourself a martini as a reward.
Scalia appears to have flown to Alaska on Arkley’s jet right from a Federalist Society meeting in Napa, California, where the justice had given a speech. ProPublica notes that the common link between Scalia’s and Alito’s trips, besides Arkley, was Federalist Society head honcho Leonard Leo. Arkley and Paul Singer, Alito’s benefactor, are heavy donors to the Society, and Leo admitted to helping organize Alito’s trip.
Contacted by ProPublica, Leo released a whiny-ass statement denying that any “event, dinner, or trip would influence” Scalia or Alito’s approach to the law. Which, even if remotely believable, is beside the point. Judicial ethics rules, as Leo well knows because he’s not a fucking moron, are supposed to prevent even the appearance of a conflict. Scalia and Alito could have spent their time in Alaska talking about nothing but their furry characters with their rich buddies, but the public has no way of knowing that.
Leo also name-checks current and former liberal justices to make a point about ... something or other:
Justices Ruth Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor also have regularly received a level of hospitality from friends and strangers that most Americans never experience, but, like their conservative colleagues, they don’t disregard the law because of outside influence. They’re smart and equally strong-willed and independent — just wrong about their proper role and what the Constitution means.
Again, in case Leo is a regular Wonkette reader, the issue is not necessarily that rich people extend the justices generous hospitality. The issue is whether the justices report said hospitality on their financial disclosure forms and whether they recuse themselves from cases in which their rich hosts might have an interest, all in the name of not sullying the Supreme Court’s legitimacy as one of the major public institutions in American life.
If Leo wants to get one of his billionaire benefactors to fund some right-wing “journalism” outlet’s investigation of whether Planned Parenthood ever took Ruth Ginsburg on a luxury vacation she forgot to report, we say go for it. It won’t change the fact that Antonin Scalia and Sam Alito are ethics-free sacks of crap.
[ ProPublica ]
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