While Justice Amy Barrett feigned ignorance of dark money, new documents show the cash that bankrolled her Supreme Court nomination.
A conservative dark money group led by former President Donald Trump’s judicial adviser Leonard Leo bankrolled Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation campaign with nearly $22 million in anonymous donations, while another nonprofit that Leo helps steer saw a fundraising bonanza and showered cash on other organizations boosting Barrett, according to tax returns obtained by The Daily Poster.
The new tax returns shed light on how Barrett’s successful last-minute confirmation campaign was aided by a flood of dark money. They also reveal the rapid growth of Leo’s already highly successful dark money network and its tentacles in the broader conservative movement.
Corporate interests with access to nearly unlimited money have a huge stake in tilting the court to the right. In recent years, the court has played a pivotal role not only in swaying social policy, but also in shifting economic policy and corporate regulations. In Barrett’s first year, she has already sided with corporate interests on a landmark climate case involving an oil giant that employed her father for decades, and she refused to recuse herself in a donor transparency case involving a foundation tied to a dark money group that backed her confirmation.
Leo is a longtime executive at the Federalist Society, a group for conservative lawyers. He formed the Rule of Law Trust (RLT) in 2018, and the group quickly raised nearly $80 million. RLT started spending that money in 2020, donating $21.5 million to the Judicial Crisis Network (JCN), another group steered by Leo that played a key role in Republicans flipping the Supreme Court and building a conservative supermajority.
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