Center for Political Awareness

Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s Husband is Representing Fox’s Parent Company in Court

As mounting ethical questions strike at court legitimacy, justices still don't disclose their spousal conflicts.

Photo: Newly sworn in U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett and her husband Jesse Barrett look on during her ceremonial swearing-in on the South Lawn of the White House October 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

 

Yet another SCOTUS Spouse is posing serious conflict-of-interest questions on whether justices should disclose their partners’ work.

Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s husband, Jesse Barrett, is representing Fox Corporation in a defamation lawsuit, Rolling Stone reports. The SouthBank Legal managing partner “represented a prominent media company in a lawsuit alleging defamation,” per his website, referring to Redmond v. Fox Television Station LLC.

The case, which lists Barrett as an attorney for Fox, stems from Illinois man Lavell Redmond’s claim in the suit that Fox’s inaccurate reporting “directly led to Redmond being arrested and wrongfully charged with violating the reporting requirements of the sex offender registry.” The case is being argued in the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Barrett was under no legal obligation to disclose the client list of her partner on mandatory ethics forms, though advocates say the top court’s ethics rules need serious improvements. The Barretts attended Notre Dame Law School together for a year, each clerking for judges and working gigs in the private sector before Amy Coney Barrett made her way to the Federal Judiciary. Jesse Barrett then opened a D.C. office for his firm mere months after his wife’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.

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