U.S. Supreme Court

Common Cause Prez Sees 'Stunning Breach of Ethics' in Law Firm-Sponsored Dinner Honoring Justices

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A Federalist Society dinner honoring Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas is getting some attention in the press because of the law firm sponsors.

Almost two dozen firms helped sponsor the dinner, according to the Los Angeles Times blog Politics Now. One of them is Bancroft, the firm of former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, who will likely be arguing in the U.S. Supreme Court for the challengers to the Obama administration’s health care law. The blog’s article is headlined, “Scalia and Thomas dine with healthcare law challengers as court takes case.”

Other sponsors of the dinner include Jones Day, which is representing a trade association challenging the law, and pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc., which has a financial stake in the outcome of the litigation.

The article quotes Common Cause president Bob Edgar, who viewed the dinner as a “stunning breach of ethics and indifference to the [ethics] code.”

On the other side of the ethics coin, some conservatives are arguing Justice Elena Kagan’s work as solicitor general requires her to recuse herself from the health law case.

Story updated at 1 p.m. to capitalize “Federalist Society.”

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