The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing Tuesday on ethics on the Supreme Court.
The session comes on the heels of several questionable actions by members of the high court, including undisclosed gifts accepted by Justice Clarence Thomas.
Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts and the other seven justices all declined to testify.
It’s not the hearing that the chairman of the committee, Dick Durbin, wanted to have. He wanted to hear from Chief Justice John Roberts amid a fresh report from ProPublica about his relationship with Harlan Crow, a financial donor who paid for his vacations, his mother’s home and other things.
Chief Justice Roberts declined, writing in a letter: “Testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee by the chief justice of the United States is exceedingly rare, as one might expect, in light of separation of powers concerns and the importance of preserving judicial independence.”
All of the justices went on to say that they follow a code of conduct, but that’s not going far enough for some members of Congress.
Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, is one of the lawmakers calling for more accountability and transparency.
Republican staffers have argued that this is still a largely partisan issue as Republicans are not on board with the legislation that the Democrats have called for.
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