Supreme Court protest

Demonstrators rally against the right-wing majority of the U.S. Supreme Court on October 2, 2023 in Washington, D.C.

(Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Watchdogs' Database Details Right-Wing Efforts to Sway US Supreme Court

"Supreme corruption demands supreme transparency," said one campaigner behind the new effort.

A trio of progressive watchdog groups on Thursday unveiled a new database detailing the "troubling connections" between the U.S. Supreme Court's right-wing justices, the conservative organizations that have intervened in cases before the court, and the wealthy donors funding them.

Take Back the Court, Revolving Door Project, and True North Research published the database at, which "shines a spotlight on the complex web connecting justices to powerbrokers and the organizations that those powerbrokers fund, lead, and are otherwise linked to."

The watchdogs found that nearly 1 in 7 amicus briefs filed during the 2023-24 Supreme Court term were lodged by at least one powerbroker-affiliated organization. This affects 32 different cases before the court.

"The current U.S. Supreme Court has gone rogue."

For example, in Moore v. United States—in which the Supreme Court could preemptively ban or limit wealth taxes—half of all amicus briefs were filed by groups affiliated with right-wing powerbrokers.

In Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, groups funded by billionaire industrialist Charles Koch want to scupper the Chevron deference, a 40-year precedent under which judges defer to the legal interpretations of federal agencies if Congress has not passed any laws on an issue. Powerbroker-affiliated organizations have filed more than one-third of the amicus briefs seeking to overturn the Chevron doctrine.

"Far too often people with insidiously close ties to justices like Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, such as Harlan Crow and Paul Singer, signal their interest in the outcome of cases by funding, leading, or influencing organizations that file amicus briefs," Revolving Door Project executive director Jeff Hauser said in a statement.

"There is just as much of a conflict of interest when a justice hears a case involving a benefactor as a named party and one in which the person who illicitly enabled their luxurious lifestyle is 'merely' similarly situated to one of the parties," Hauser added.

According to

The current U.S. Supreme Court has gone rogue. The right-wing justices that make up the court's supermajority frequently toy with precedent and the rule of law to issue opinions that not only defy the will of a majority of Americans, but also rewrite constitutional principles, overturn widely respected legal precedents, and gut longstanding rules that protect the public interest.

In just the 2021 and 2022 Supreme Court terms alone, the court overturned Roe v. Wadeafter 49 years; gutted both the decades-old Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act; overturned a 100+ year old gun safety law; eroded the National Labor Relations Act (adopted as part of New Deal reforms to protect workers); broke with their own procedures regarding standing to sue in order to block student debt relief; and reversed decades of precedent to end the decadeslong practice of race-conscious college admissions policies that promoted diversity and redressed discrimination. But this radically reactionary court and its radically reactionary justices aren't acting alone.

"Supreme corruption demands supreme transparency," said Take Back the Court president Sarah Lipton-Lubet. "It's no secret that the many of the rich benefactors cozying up to the conservative justices are the same people who fund right-wing organizations with business before the court."

"But too often, stories about the Supreme Court don't connect these dots—and as a result, they leave us with an incomplete picture," she continued. "The truth is right-wing powerbrokers are seemingly paying to play; they're funding groups that are weighing in on court cases even as they buy access to the justices who will rule on those cases."

"It's just one of the ways our Supreme Court is deeply, fundamentally broken," Lipton-Lubet added. "And it's a reminder of how urgent and necessary it is that we reform this corrupt court."

Last year, the Supreme Court adopted a Code of Conduct that contained few new rules, no enforcement mechanism, and was widely panned as a toothless public relations stunt. Bolder proposals for reforming the high court include term limits and increasing the number of justices.

Join Us: News for people demanding a better world

Common Dreams is powered by optimists who believe in the power of informed and engaged citizens to ignite and enact change to make the world a better place.

We're hundreds of thousands strong, but every single supporter makes the difference.

Your contribution supports this bold media model—free, independent, and dedicated to reporting the facts every day. Stand with us in the fight for economic equality, social justice, human rights, and a more sustainable future. As a people-powered nonprofit news outlet, we cover the issues the corporate media never will. Join with us today!

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.