A former religious right leader said he recruited and coached wealthy evangelical volunteers to wine, dine and entertain conservative Supreme Court justices while pushing conservative positions on abortion, homosexuality, gun restrictions and other issues. But don't worry, SCOTUS would never let themselves be influenced by free meals! Via Politico:
Rob Schenck, an Assembly of God minister who headed the Faith and Action group headquartered near the Supreme Court from 1995 to 2018, said he arranged over the years for about 20 couples to fly to Washington to visit with and entertain Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and the late Antonin Scalia.
Schenck, who was once an anti-abortion activist but broke with the religious right in the last decade over its aggressive tactics and support for gun rights, said the couples were instructed before the dinners to use certain phrases to influence the justices while steering clear of the specifics of cases pending before the court — for example, to “talk about the importance of a child having a father and a mother,” rather than engage in the particulars of a gay-rights case.
“We would rehearse lines like, ‘We believe you are here for a time like this,’” which is a reference to the Old Testament Book of Esther in which the Hebrew woman born with the name Hadassah becomes queen of Persia and succeeds in preventing a genocide of her people.
But don't worry! They weren't influenced, they only call balls and strikes...