Dick Durbin, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has requested that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts testify before Congress in early May regarding ethics rules for justices and prospective reforms.
In a letter, the Democrat stated that Durbin told Roberts that the chief justice last addressed ethical issues at the high court in 2011 and that, since then, “there has been a steady stream of revelations regarding Justices falling short of the ethical standards expected of other federal judges and, indeed, of public servants generally.”
“These problems were already apparent back in 2011, and the Court’s decade-long failure to address them has contributed to a crisis of public confidence. The status quo is no longer tenable,” Durbin said.
“While Durbin didn’t cite any specific examples of potential ethics violations, his request for Roberts’ testimony comes after ProPublica recently published reports about how Justice Clarence Thomas didn’t disclose gifts and luxury travel from wealthy GOP donor Harlan Crow, as well as the sale of properties from Thomas’ family to Crow,” NBC News reported.
Democrats have escalated their war against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pleading with Roberts to intervene as some in the party discuss impeachment and others urge for Thomas’ resignation.
16 congressional Democrats have asked Roberts to investigate Thomas for accepting luxury trips from a prominent Republican donor for more than two decades, excursions that he was not required to report under the current rules and regulations.
“Eight senators and eight representatives sent Roberts a letter on Friday to urge him to initiate an investigation into any unethical and ‘potentially unlawful’ conduct that Thomas might have committed. The letter states that the court has ‘barely acknowledged’ the allegations so far,” The Hill reported.
“We believe that it is your duty as Chief Justice ‘to safeguard public faith in the judiciary,’ and that fulfilling that duty requires swift, thorough, independent and transparent investigation into these allegations,” the letter said.
ProPublica reported on Thursday that Republican donor and industrialist Harlan Crow had provided Justice Clarence Thomas with luxury travel for years. These included cruises on Crow’s yacht, flights on his private aircraft, and socializing at his private resort with his influential associates. Crow is a Dallas-based real estate developer.
NEW: Senate Judiciary Committee chair writes to Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts about Justice Clarence Thomas's acceptance of gifts
"We urge you to immediately open such an investigation and take all needed action to prevent further misconduct" pic.twitter.com/zuDkACSpZh
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) April 10, 2023
Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have called on Chief Justice John Roberts to open an investigation into the undisclosed acceptance of luxury trips taken by Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife, paid for by a Republican donor. https://t.co/wXp3vZkcES
— ABC News (@ABC) April 11, 2023
The news source reported that Thomas received gifts valued at more than $500,000, but the justice never disclosed them. Thomas claimed that he was “advised” that he did not need to disclose any of the visits in response to the report.
“Early in my tenure at the Court, I sought guidance from my colleagues and others in the judiciary, and was advised that this sort of personal hospitality from close personal friends, who did not have business before the Court, was not reportable,” Thomas said in a rare response to criticism.
Some experts have come to Thomas’ defense, arguing that the Democratic Party’s efforts to obtain him are merely “politics.”
More on this story via Conservative Brief:
Roger Severino, vice president of domestic policy and The Joseph C. and Elizabeth A. Anderlik Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, told Fox News late last week: “This is just grasping at straws by the left that is desperate to tear down Justice Thomas because he now has a working originalist majority on the court. This is politics. Plain and simple.” CONTINUE READING…