January 26, 2011- A few months ago, ThinkProgress launched a series of investigations into relationship of the right flank of the Supreme Court — Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Antonin Scalia — with corporate donors and Republican operatives. In October, we revealed, through a document obtained from Koch Industries, that Scalia and Thomas had attended secret right-wing fundraisers organized by Charles Koch to coordinate political strategy. ThinkProgress has now discovered more events attended by conservative Supreme Court justices.
The Manhattan Institute, funded by major corporations like CIGNA, Koch Industries and ExxonMobil, is a conservative think tank in New York that produces right-wing policy papers as well as sponsoring speeches for judges and Republican politicians. In 2008, Justice Thomas headlined the Manhattan Institute’s Wriston Lecture; last October, Justice Alito was the headline speaker for the same event. According to the Manhattan Institute’s website, an individual must contribute between $5,000 to $25,000 to attend the Wriston Lecture. “To be invited to the Wriston Lecture,” Debbie Ezzard, a development official at the Manhattan Institute told ThinkProgress, “you have to give $5,000.”