Alito rejects calls to recuse from tax case after Wall Street Journal interviews

Conservative Justice Samuel Alito on Friday rejected calls to recuse from a major tax case after he sat down for two interviews with an attorney involved in the case.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and others had called for Alito to step aside from the case after The Wall Street Journal’s opinion section published two interviews with the justice.

In the wide-ranging interviews, Alito told David Rivkin, the attorney who is also a Journal editor, that the Supreme Court bar should be defending him from recent ethics attacks and that Congress had no authority to regulate the court.

Durbin then sent a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts demanding Alito’s recusal from Rivkin’s upcoming case at the high court.

“Because this case is scheduled to be heard soon, and because of the attention my planned participation in this case has already received, I respond to these concerns now,” Alito wrote in a four-page statement Friday.

“There is no valid reason for my recusal in this case,” Alito continued. 

In Moore v. United States, the Supreme Court is set to decide this term whether a repatriation tax enacted as part of the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act is constitutional. 

Rivkin represents the plaintiffs attempting to convince the justices that the tax runs afoul of the 16th Amendment.


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