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You are here News Congress Advocate tells lawmakers of ‘stealth’ efforts to influence Supreme Court

Advocate tells lawmakers of ‘stealth’ efforts to influence Supreme Court

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Robert Schenck

Evangelical minister Robert L. Schenck recruited wealthy Christian couples to serve as “stealth missionaries” at the Supreme Court for about two decades, forging friendships with conservative justices to “bolster” their views, particularly on abortion, Schenck told the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

“Our overarching goals were to gain insight into the conservative justices’ thinking and to shore up their resolve to render solid, unapologetic opinions,” Schenck said, describing the mission of the influence campaign he dubbed “Operation Higher Court.”

In written testimony, Schenck, who in recent years has broken with the religious right over issues including abortion and gun rights, said he encouraged his recruits to use tactics like donations to the Supreme Court Historical Society to meet justices — and to parlay those encounters into deeper relationships to achieve their objectives. Some recruits wrote amicus briefs in cases before the court, his testimony says.

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