Rev. Robert Schenck, the man who accused Justice Samuel Alito of leaking the Supreme Court's 2014 decision in the Hobby Lobby case, was called to testify on Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee and things did not go well for Schenck.
The Reverend, who used to be a pro-life activist but flip-flopped on the issue and later adopted the left's "it's a woman's right" position, alleged that he found out how the Supreme Court would rule in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby by a couple — Gayle and Don Wright — before the Court announced its opinion, and that the leak came from Justice Alito.
Alito has since acknowledged that he knew the Wrights socially, but said the "allegation that the Wrights were told the outcome of the decision in the Hobby Lobby case, or the authorship of the opinion of the court, by me or my wife is completely false." Gayle Wright, as well, has denied that she was informed of the Hobby Lobby case's outcome by Alito.
Still, Schenck has stuck by his allegation — or at least he tried to — until House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-OH) dropped the hammer on his dubious credibility.
During the hearing, Jordan asked Schenck to confirm that Gayle Wright had told him the outcome of the Hobby Lobby case after being informed by Justice Alito. "Absolutely," Schenck replied with certainty.
But, as usual, Jordan did his homework on Schenck and found that he had written a book in 2018 in which he made much ado about attending oral arguments before the Supreme Court in a case involving his brother, Rev. Paul Schenck, and Dwight Saunders against the Pro-Choice Network of Western New York.
In the book, Robert Schenck wrote:
With a single rap of the gavel, Chief Justice William Rehnquist announced: "We'll hear argument first this morning in Number 95-1065, Reverent Paul Schenck and Dwight Saunders versus Pro-Choice Network of Western New York." Paul and I winked at each other, knowing we had made history with that "Reverend" in his name. It had been a minor victory when we persuaded the court that "Rev." should remain before Paul's name, even though we had been told repeatedly that legal briefs never included such titles. Paul knew that even if the justices didn't see it that way, our supporters and opponents needed to. "Reverend Paul Schenck" ensured we could cast the conflict as a religious liberty case and not one about blockading clinics.
"You thought it was important that the title "reverend" be in front of Paul's name, right?" Jordan asked, to which Schenck agreed. "Did Chief Justice Rehnquist really say that the way I read it from your book?" Jordan probed. "Uhhhh... I think so," Schenck replied, seemingly a bit rattled. When asked for a definitive answer, Schenck hedged and said "I would have to go back and review that."
"We did go back and I've got the transcript right here," Jordan — who also came prepared with the audio recording from the Supreme Court on the morning in question — said before decimating Schenck's credibility by showing the story he told in his book is, in fact, a total lie.
In his concluding comments, after leaving Schenck's ability make any believable claims in pieces, were equally brutal. "One thing I've learned, people who mislead folks on small things mislead them on big things," Jordan said. "You can lie in a book, it's not a crime — you can lie to The New York Times, that's not a crime — but when you come in front of Congress, and you say things that are not true, you're not allowed to do that. You're not supposed to do that."