Whitehouse Statement on SCOTUS Commission Interim Report

Washington, DC — Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Courts Subcommittee, released the following statement regarding the interim report of the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States:

“This report is a disappointment to anyone who’d hoped for a hard-hitting effort to address the Supreme Court’s deep troubles. From this report, you would never know:

(a) that the last three Supreme Court vacancies were filled through the efforts of a private organization (the Federalist Society) receiving enormous contemporaneous anonymous donations;

(b) that anonymous individual checks as large as $17 million funded Supreme Court confirmation battle advertising, with no way to know what business those donors had before the Court;

(c) that orchestrated flotillas of anonymously-funded right-wing amici appear regularly before the Court, and achieve virtually perfect success with the Republican appointees;

(d) that a peculiar fast lane has emerged that rushes politically loaded cases to the Supreme Court through deliberate trial and appellate court losses;

(e) that intensely political partisan decisions have hinged on findings of fact that were not an appellate court’s ordinary province, that were not supported by a factual record, and that ultimately were demonstrably false;

(f) that ‘regulatory capture’ is not limited to administrative agencies but can infect courts as well;

(g) that as much as $400 million in anonymized money has been spent through an array of coordinated groups seemingly designed to capture the Supreme Court, a sum not usually spent without motive; and

(h) that in civil cases decided by a 5–4 partisan Supreme Court majority in which there was an evident Republican donor interest, the donor interest win record was an astonishing 80–0.”

U.S. Senator from Rhode Island, the Ocean State.