Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

MichMan

(11,858 posts)
Sat Feb 5, 2022, 01:28 PM Feb 2022

Former clerk rewrites SCOTUS contenders' Wikipedia bios

A former law clerk for a potential Supreme Court nominee embarked on a Wikipedia editing spree over the past week, bolstering the page of his former boss while altering the pages of her competitors in an apparent attempt to invite liberal skepticism, according to a statement from his fellow clerks.

After POLITICO began inquiring about the changes on Friday, a group of former law clerks for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson identified the anonymous editor as Matteo Godi, another former Jackson clerk. Godi did not respond to multiple emailed requests or a phone call.

In a statement, the former clerks for Jackson — who requested anonymity in order to identify the online editor — said Godi has edited his former boss’s Wikipedia page “as a matter of course” for several years. They said Jackson was not aware of Godi’s edits on the pages of other judges.

Those edits display a pattern: The page for Jackson, seen by many as a Supreme Court frontrunner, was tweaked to paint her in a more favorable light for a liberal audience, while the pages for other potential nominees — South Carolina federal district court Judge J. Michelle Childs and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger — were altered to make them potentially less appealing to a left-leaning audience.


[link:https://www.politico.com/news/2022/02/04/former-clerk-rewrites-supreme-court-wikipedia-bios-00005914|
14 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Former clerk rewrites SCOTUS contenders' Wikipedia bios (Original Post) MichMan Feb 2022 OP
DINO. Karadeniz Feb 2022 #1
Not helpful. Sneederbunk Feb 2022 #2
jeeze.. really? what a way to disqualify even if she wasn't aware msfiddlestix Feb 2022 #3
Wikipedia is open source. Anybody can become an editor and alter pages. yardwork Feb 2022 #4
No legal consequences for malicious altering ? MichMan Feb 2022 #6
None whatsoever unless somebody won a libel case. yardwork Feb 2022 #7
Hope you're correct on last point msfiddlestix Feb 2022 #14
Anyone who isn't selected should sue him and he should also be disbarred MichMan Feb 2022 #5
Honestly, I doubt the Senate considers Wiki pages as part of the review. yardwork Feb 2022 #8
This message was self-deleted by its author MichMan Feb 2022 #10
What was slanderous about the alterations? yardwork Feb 2022 #11
The perpetrator is currently a lawyer for a DC law firm MichMan Feb 2022 #13
An ultimate "You know we can see you, right?" Sympthsical Feb 2022 #9
I know, right? yardwork Feb 2022 #12

msfiddlestix

(7,270 posts)
3. jeeze.. really? what a way to disqualify even if she wasn't aware
Sat Feb 5, 2022, 03:11 PM
Feb 2022

just effed up to hell.

Not only was not helpful, but it might have jeopardized her nomination. I hope this matter is correctable.

yardwork

(61,526 posts)
4. Wikipedia is open source. Anybody can become an editor and alter pages.
Sat Feb 5, 2022, 03:18 PM
Feb 2022

This reflects badly on the staffer but doesn't matter beyond that. The staffer was stupid. Probably wrecked their own career, but this should have no bearing on the nomination process.

yardwork

(61,526 posts)
7. None whatsoever unless somebody won a libel case.
Sat Feb 5, 2022, 03:27 PM
Feb 2022

Libel is very difficult to prove, especially if you're famous enough to have a wiki page.

I love Wikipedia but always remember that anybody can edit the pages.

msfiddlestix

(7,270 posts)
14. Hope you're correct on last point
Sat Feb 5, 2022, 08:27 PM
Feb 2022

I was under the impression that an editor had to have qualifications which includes verification of the subject.

guess I was mistaken.

Response to yardwork (Reply #8)

yardwork

(61,526 posts)
11. What was slanderous about the alterations?
Sat Feb 5, 2022, 03:35 PM
Feb 2022

Tweaking Wiki bios to highlight or downplay accomplishments isn't slanderous. It's unethical and looks sleazy and reflects poorly on the former clerk but what was the impact on the nominees?

MichMan

(11,858 posts)
13. The perpetrator is currently a lawyer for a DC law firm
Sat Feb 5, 2022, 03:47 PM
Feb 2022

Not only did he highlight or downplay entries in the page of his former boss, he also altered the pages of other top contenders to make them look worse. I don't think that is something that should be just ignored.

Do you think trying to interfere with the nomination process for potential SC Justices warrants being disbarred?

Sympthsical

(9,020 posts)
9. An ultimate "You know we can see you, right?"
Sat Feb 5, 2022, 03:28 PM
Feb 2022

Of course people are going to look at Wikipedia to learn about potential nominees. Some of those people will check to see what edits are being made since the nomination chatter began.

Wikipedia keeps edit histories that can be accessed by anyone.

So . . . well done there.

Latest Discussions»General Discussion»Former clerk rewrites SCO...