Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito ruled on multiple environmental cases after his wife leased a plot of land to an Oklahoma oil and gas company, the Intercept reports. Martha Ann Bomgardner Alito stands to make 3/16ths of all the revenue generated by Citizen Energy III from oil and gas extracted from the 160 acres in Grady County, Oklahoma.
While Citizen Energy III has not been involved in any cases directly before the Supreme Court, Alito’s failure to disclose the potential conflict raises questions in light of Alito’s authorship of the Court’s Sackett v. EPA in May, which severely undermined EPA authority to prevent water and wetland pollution.
The Intercept’s reporting comes just days after ProPublica revealed Alito went on a luxury fishing trip with billionaire Paul Singer — a trip Alito never disclosed — and later failed to recuse himself from at least 10 cases in which Singer’s hedge fund had before the Supreme Court.
“There need not be a specific case involving the drilling rights associated with a specific plot of land for Alito to understand what outcomes in environmental cases would buttress his family’s net wealth,” Jeff Hauser, founder and director of the Revolving Door Project, told The Intercept. “Alito does not have to come across like a drunken Paul Thomas Anderson character gleefully confessing to drinking our collective milkshakes in order to be a real life, run-of-the-mill political villain.”