Justice Alito, Jr. may have taken expensive gifts from Paul Singer, a billionaire currently fighting for the Supreme Court to block student-loan forgiveness.
In 2008, Washington D.C. was beginning to (very casually) toss around the idea of student-loan forgiveness during the economic crisis, listening to the voice of the Occupy movement. Justice Sam Alito, Jr, appointed the Supreme Court just a few years before by George W. Bush, was already establishing himself as one of the most conservative justices on the Court, voting for bans on abortions, for expanded immunity for police misconduct, and against limits on indefinite confinement for debt.
He was also just having a good time. In July 2008, Justice Alito took a luxury fishing vacation in Alaska with his friend Paul Singer. The trip cost well over $1000 a day, all supposedly paid for by his good billionaire buddy. Since then, Paul Singer’s hedge fund has appeared before the Supreme Court at least ten times, and Alito has not once recused himself.
Singer funds and chairs the Manhattan Institute, which is currently filing an amicus brief with the Supreme Court, asking it to block President Biden’s plan for student loan debt relief.
“If the government’s purpose were truly to reduce the harm of more frequent defaults, there are far more direct means available to that end,” the Manhattan Institute wrote in its February brief referring borrowers who risked defaulted on their debt following the pandemic. “These include more aggressive measures to put borrowers on income-based repayment plans and, perhaps even more straightforward, waiving some of the legal consequences of missed payments.”
The decision is expected to come out in the next few days. If it sides with Singer and his fellows against the American public, can we expect to see Justice Alito back living it up in Alaska this summer? But it’s obviously Singer who’s reeled in the big catch.