Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
Susan Walsh – Pool by Cnp/Zuma Press
back in business. The senator, who in 2019 threatened the Supreme Court with reprisals in the gun rights case, is now threatening Congress with action if judges do not follow his orders in conducting the trial.
The Rhode Island Democrat will address a Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday on What’s Wrong with the Supreme Court: An attack by big money on our justice system. Subtlety is not Sheldon’s specialty. The hearing is intended to expedite the amicus bill, which would require the Court to change its rules regarding amicus briefs that request judges to inform them of the law and the facts of cases.
Note the contempt of court. The title of the hearing suggests that the jury is corrupted by money. This is the current theme of Whitehouse, who wants to undermine the independence of the judiciary in the Senate and curtail the First Amendment rights of private citizens to influence their government.
The Supreme Court already has Rule 37.6, which governs amicus briefs. It requires amicus briefs to state whether the litigant’s counsel wrote the brief or made a monetary contribution to it. In addition, any person who has made such a monetary contribution, other than the amicus, its members, or its attorneys, must be disclosed.
Sir, I want to thank you for your support. Whitehouse wants to go further and require amateur candidates to disclose all their donors. This will affect left-wing and right-wing groups that are not required to disclose their donors but use academics or lawyers to submit letters. The Chamber of Commerce and the NAACP must disclose information on all their donors if they are allowed to prepare summary reports. This will discourage some candidates and thus make the AMO less informed, or expose donors to these groups to political intimidation by people like Whitehouse and his political allies.
All of this is almost certainly a violation of the First Amendment right to freedom of assembly and speech. The Supreme Court ruled in NAACP v. Alabama (1958), that forcing a donor to disclose information may affect these rights. Whitehouse shares these concerns, but argues that it simply does not make sense to grant full anonymity protection to all member organizations, including business networks such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce whose corporate members are not at serious risk of retaliation for openly expressing their views.
In other words: Some groups have the right to associate freely, others do not. Sir, I want to thank you for your support. Whitehouse will be the judge.
The senator’s quote comes from a letter dated February 23, which he shared with
Reporter Henry Johnson
(D., Ga.) to the Chairman of the Committee on Rules of Procedure and Practice of the Judicial Conference of the United States. The committee is drafting a guide for the judiciary, and the letter indicates that we believe that a legislative solution could aim to bring the necessary transparency to lobbying in the judiciary. The Deed of Amicus with the benefits is attached.
It’s a clear threat that if the courts don’t follow its orders, Congress will rewrite the court’s rules. Amicus bill unlikely to pass Senate 50-50 today, but senator sends message to chief justice ….
The leader joined liberals who refused to speak out on the New York gun decision after Whitehouse and four other senators wrote an amicus brief threatening to rebuild the court if the justices made a bad decision.
We hope the Court will ignore these threats, but it may also respond by acting within the law. The Court recently agreed to hear a case against California’s donation disclosure rules, Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. California.
. The NAACP, ACLU and other progressive groups joined the Cato Institute and others in filing amicus briefs against the law as a violation of the First Amendment right of association.
If the judges overturn the California law, they’ll send a message to Mr. Bauer. Whitehouse broadcast that his obsession with disclosure is beyond the reach of the Constitution.
Main Street: For his criticism of H.R. 1 as an unconstitutional power grab, Mike Pence is accused of spreading Donald Trump’s big lie. Images : AFP via Getty Images/AP Composite: Mark Kelly
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Published on the 10th. March 2021 in a print publication titled Sheldon Whitehouse v. Supreme Court.
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