Reeling from a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that opened the door to an explosion of political ads from corporate interests, and fearful the court could overturn President Obama's healthcare overhaul, liberal groups have launched an aggressive attack on the court's most conservative justices, reports Politico. The sharp questioning of the impartiality and ethics of Justices Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito represents the most concerted attack on a bloc of justices since the early 1970s, when conservatives waged a long campaign against the liberal justices of the Warren Court.
Thomas and Scalia have been accused of undermining public confidence in the court by engaging in partisan politics and making decisions that could benefit the political and financial interests of their family and associates. And both justices have faced calls for the Justice Department to investigate alleged conflicts of interest and possibly to invalidate their votes in the 2010 decision on political spending, Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission. Alito has been criticized for speaking at fundraising events for conservative groups opposed to Obama's agenda. Only Chief Justice John Roberts, the fourth staunch conservative on the court, has been relatively immune from the same kind of criticism.