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Ray Bogan

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Politics

Senate Judiciary Dems still seek Chief Justice Roberts’ testimony

Apr 24, 2023

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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are still trying to get Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Clarence Thomas or any justice to testify before them on May 2 about judicial ethics.

Over the weekend of April 23, they received a two paragraph letter in response to their request.

It said the matter has been referred to the Judicial Conference Committee on Financial Disclosure, which is responsible for implementing the disclosure provisions of the Ethics in Government Act and addressing allegations of errors or omissions in the filing of financial disclosure reports. It closed by stating if they have any more questions – don’t hesitate to call.

After receiving the letter, Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said in a statement, “It is becoming clear that such an appearance by the Chief Justice may be the only way for the Court to set out with clarity any meaningful and credible reform.”

Durbin said if Chief Justice Roberts doesn’t address ethics reform at the court, the committee will through legislation.

“To restore the integrity and reputation of the court, they have to do something. An investigation followed by a change in the approach on ethics,” Durbin told reporters.

The push for ethics reform came in the wake of reports that Justice Thomas accepted six-figure vacations from GOP billionaire megadonor Harlan Crow. The real estate magnate also purchased a family home from the Thomas family.

But Republicans aren’t so sure congressionally imposed reforms are the right move.

“But the question is, is it consistent with the Article III branch’s ethics and disclosure rules? And then whether or not there should be a reconsideration of that. And in my mind should be something that, that separate and equal branch should take on, not the U.S. Senate. Sounds like there may be a little bit of politics in there,” Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., said.

It’s unclear who will take the hot seat at the May 2 hearing. But as of now, it’s not looking like it will be a Supreme Court justice.

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Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are still trying to get Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Clarence Thomas, or any Justice to testify before them on May 2nd about Judicial ethics. 

Over the weekend, they received this two paragraph letter as a response to their request. It said the matter has been referred to the Judicial Conference Committee on Financial Disclosure, which is responsible for implementing the disclosure provisions of the Ethics in Government Act and addressing allegations of errors or omissions in the filing of financial disclosure reports.

 

It closed by stating if they have any more questions – don’t hesitate to call. 

 

After receiving the letter, Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin said in a statement: “It is becoming clear that such an appearance by the Chief Justice may be the only way for the Court to set out with clarity any meaningful and credible reform.”

 

Durbin said if Chief Justice Roberts doesn’t address ethics reform at the court, the committee will through legislation. 

 

Dick Durbin: 

“To restore the integrity and reputation of the court, they have to do something. An investigation followed by a change in the approach on ethics,”

 

But Republicans aren’t so sure that’s the right move. 

 

Tillis: 

“But the question is, is it consistent with the Article III branch’s ethics and disclosure rules? And then whether or not there should be a reconsideration of that. And in my mind should be something that, that separate and equal branch should take on, not the U.S. Senate. Sounds like there may be a little bit of politics in there,” 

 

As per the May 2nd hearing, it’s unclear who will take the hot seat. But as of now, it’s not looking like it’ll be a Justice. Straight from DC, I’m Ray Bogan.