U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito (L) is sworn in as his wife Martha-Ann Bomgardner looks on

It Sure Looks Like Samuel Alito’s Wife Is Super Corrupt Too

Whoever you are, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito doesn’t care much about you. We know that because he has consistently used his considerable power over time to vote to strip the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of its reach, help fossil fuel companies, and slash climate protections, ensuring that future generations of humans, plants, and animals have an insecure future on Earth—just to name a few of his hobbies. It was also recently revealed that like his colleague Clarence Thomas, Alito has accepted lavish vacations from Republican mega-donors that he just happened to neglect to disclose.

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This week, The Intercept broke news that Martha Ann Bomgardner Alito, who is married to the ultra-conservative justice, leased land she owns in Oklahoma to an oil and gas company in a deal granting her 3/16ths of any fossil fuel profits, all at the same time her husband was fighting the EPA and bolstering oil companies’ rights in the nations highest court. Hmm. Maybe Martha Alito doesn’t care much about anyone but herself, either.

Around the same time Martha Alito was doing the deal, her husband wrote the majority decision that gutted the Clean Water Act, devastating environmental protections. Also, around the same time, he voted to sharply restrict the EPA’s power in limiting carbon emissions from big offenders, dealing a huge blow to the fight against climate change. Let’s remember, this is the guy who in 2017 delivered a speech where he said, “Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Carbon dioxide is not harmful to ordinary things, to human beings, or to animals, or to plants,” adding, “All of us are exhaling carbon dioxide right now.”

Citizen Energy III, the company working with the Alitos, doesn’t currently have any cases in the Supreme Court system, so there’s not technically a legal conflict of interest. Technically! But have you ever heard of following the spirit of the law vs. the letter? Reportedly, Justice Alito has previously recused himself from decisions where there could be potential conflicts of interest with his investments. But the major shocker here is that there’s no actual law preventing monetary conflicts of interest among Supreme Court members, so reporting and recusing is self-policed. But damn, man, you knew you stood to gain. 

Jeff Hauser, who is the director and founder of the Revolving Door Project (an executive branch government watchdog organization), told The Intercept, “There need not be a specific case involving the drilling rights associated with a specific plot of land for Alito to understand what outcomes in environmental cases would buttress his family’s net wealth.” Because come on. The decisions he has been making obviously stand to change fuel prices and operations costs, among other issues. “Alito does not have to come across like a drunken Paul Thomas Anderson character gleefully confessing to drinking our collective milkshakes in order to be a real-life, run-of-the-mill political villain,” Hauser expounded.

Do you think the Thomases and the Alitos have dinner parties where they drink not-quite-$1000 bottles of wine and laugh about their efforts to milk their positions on the bench for all they can? I bet they do.

(via The Intercept, featured image: Alex Wong/Getty Images)


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Author
Cammy Pedroja
Author and independent journalist since 2015. Frequent contributor of news and commentary on social justice, politics, culture, and lifestyle to publications including The Mary Sue, Newsweek, Business Insider, Slate, Women, USA Today, and Huffington Post. Lover of forests, poetry, books, champagne, and trashy TV.