Amy Coney Barrett’s Lawyer Husband Is Representing Fox in Defamation Suit

Reuters/Tasos Katopodis
Reuters/Tasos Katopodis

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s husband has taken on Fox News’ parent company in a defamation lawsuit against a local news station, Rolling Stone reported Wednesday, citing court records. Jesse Barrett is a managing partner at SouthBank Legal, heading the firm’s Washington office since his wife was appointed to the high court in 2020 by Donald Trump. The SouthBank Legal website brags that Jesse Barrett had “represented a prominent media company in a lawsuit alleging defamation,” which, it turns out, is the Fox Corporation. The revelation piles on to potential conflicts of interest involving the Supreme Court, which has been roiled in recent days after it was revealed Justice Samuel Alito flew the U.S. flag upside down at his Virginia residence and a flag popular among Jan. 6 insurrectionists at his vacation home. That comes on the heels of reports exposing Justice Clarence Thomas’ penchant for accepting private flights, yacht trips, and other luxuries from super-wealthy right-wing donors. While Jesse Barrett representing Fox doesn’t necessarily reach the same level of controversy, it highlights a potential flaw among Supreme Court ethics rules: Justices are not required to publicly disclose the received gifts and relationships of their spouses.

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