Common Cause Attacks Supreme Court Justices, Dissembles
4:00 PM, Jan 20, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
The New York Times runs a story today based on what appears to be an obviously frivolous petition filed at the Justice Department by the partisan left-wing activist group Common Cause. The group alleges that Justices Scalia and Thomas, by virtue of their appearance at a seminar held in Palm Springs by the libertarian Koch brothers, created a conflict of interest for themselves that should disqualify their votes in the Citizens United case. The New York Times reported:
Ben Smith reports that, in fact, the justices attended the event long before the Supreme Court was considering any aspect of the Citizens United case. Moreover, their expenses were covered by the Federalist Society, the conservative legal group that has a branch on nearly every law school campus in the country. The president of the Federalist Society, Gene Meyer, tells Smith, "The idea that he would even have heard of the suit at that stage is slim." But Common Cause president Bob Edgar was more than happy to move the goal posts, telling Smith: "It doesn’t change our argument that Scalia was there before Citizens United was filed," he said. "We think it could have laid the groundwork for a conflict of interest."
But it did change their argument. A few hours after Ben Smith's report, Common Cause held a conference call with reporters and revealed new research!
And thus a "good government group" retreats ignominiously.