Thursday 22 June 2023

MSNBC Contributor Exploits Missing Sub Tragedy To Wish Death On SCOTUS Justice

 The Nation’s justice correspondent and regular MSNBC guest Elie Mystal exploited the tragedy of the missing Titanic submarine in order to make a joke about killing off Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

Mystal sent the tweet on Wednesday, suggesting that someone should offer Alito a trip to visit the submerged wreckage of the R.M.S. Titanic — even as the submersible carrying five people to do just that remains missing with just a few more hours of breathable air.

“Next time some rich white person wants to take Sam Alito on an expensive trip, please take him to see the Titanic,” Mystal tweeted.

Mystal’s tweet appeared to be a response to a ProPublica report claiming that Alito had not properly reported a luxury fishing trip he took to Alaska in 2008 — a trip during which he was flown on a private jet with hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer. The report also claimed that cases involving Singer had come before the court, suggesting that Alito should have recused himself and did not.

Alito responded to the report in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, saying, “Neither charge is valid.”

“I had no obligation to recuse in any of the cases that ProPublica cites. First, even if I had been aware of Mr. Singer’s connection to the entities involved in those cases, recusal would not have been required or appropriate,” Alito wrote, adding, “ProPublica suggests that my failure to recuse in these cases created an appearance of impropriety, but that is incorrect. ‘There is an appearance of impropriety when an unbiased and reasonable person who is aware of all relevant facts would doubt that the Justice could fairly discharge his or her duties’ (Statement on Ethics Principles and Practices appended to letter from the Chief Justice to Senator Durbin, April 25, 2023). No such person would think that my relationship with Mr. Singer meets that standard.”


He went on to explain that he was not obligated to report the travel under his financial disclosures because items that fell under the heading of “hospitality” had not been subject to reporting requirements until just a few months earlier — years after the trip in question occurred.

“Until a few months ago, the instructions for completing a Financial Disclosure Report told judges that ‘[p]ersonal hospitality need not be reported,’ and ‘hospitality’ was defined to include ‘hospitality extended for a non-business purpose by one, not a corporation or organization, … on property or facilities owned by [a] person …’ Section 109(14). The term ‘facilities’ was not defined, but both in ordinary and legal usage, the term encompasses means of transportation,” he wrote.

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