Leonard Leo is the center of the right-wing’s campaign to stack the courts with activist judges and remake America.
For nearly two decades, Leonard Leo has been at the center of the right-wing’s court capture campaign, stacking the federal bench with partisans and building a “dark money” network to undermine constitutional freedoms, roll back critical protections for people, and weaken our democracy.
Leo has used his nonprofits to engage in the fight for ideological control of the federal judiciary and beyond. Leo’s Judicial Crisis Network alone spent $12.3 million on average to support the confirmations of each of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominees, totaling $37 million between 2016 and 2020.
Leo has also worked directly with Republican administrations to shape the makeup of the federal judiciary. Since Justice Thomas’s Supreme Court confirmation in 1991, Leo has helped build a right-wing majority on the high court with significant consequences for American life. Most recently, Leo was widely known as a “confidant” to President Trump and led the Trump administration’s packing of the federal judiciary with extreme MAGA judges. Through the courts, Leo has worked to enact his radical and unpopular agenda including overturning Roe v. Wade, expanding gun rights, and restricting crucial environmental protections.
Leo’s power and influence expands beyond the courts, and his fingerprints have touched every part of the political process. He is the chairman of the Teneo Network, a secret social club building the next generation of extreme conservatives to “crush liberal dominance.”
- Leonard Leo
- Judicial Crisis Network
- Becket (Becket Fund for Religious Liberty)
- The Federalist Society
- Marble Freedom Trust
When news broke of Justice Clarence Thomas’s decades-long improper financial relationship with billionaire benefactor Harlan Crow, Leonard Leo was revealed to be part of Crow’s inner circle — he was even pictured in the infamous oil painting of a secret trip featuring Crow and Thomas at Crow’s private vacation estate. The revelations sparked a full-blown Supreme Court corruption crisis that shed light on shadowy actors like Leo who have served as “matchmakers” between far-right billionaires and right-wing justices.