Dems Want to Put Chief Justice On the Hot Seat

( – Senate Democrats have invited John Roberts, the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, to testify on the highest court’s ethical rules before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A letter by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), chairman of the committee, asked Roberts for testimony on the current state and potential reforms of the ethical rules for Supreme Court justices.

“I invite you, or another Justice whom you designate, to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 2, 2023,” Durbin wrote, as cited by The National Review.

The Review points out that Democrats have been increasingly critical of the Supreme Court and have defended radical left protests targeting the justices’ homes since, in June 2022, the court overturned Roe v. Wade, greenlighting state-level abortion bans.

The Democratic Party has been seeking new ethical rules for the nation’s highest court, threatening to sabotage the passage of its funding, and has called for an investigation into Justice Clarence Thomas’s relations with billionaire Harlan Crow, a GOP donor.

Thus, Senator Dick Durbin’s letter to Roberts puts additional pressure on the judicial branch. The Democrat lawmaker stressed the last time the chief justice spoke before Congress on ethical issues was in 2011.

“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, public servants generally. These problems were already apparent 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 argued.

At the same time, however, Republicans have warned Chief Justice Roberts against accepting the Democrats’ invitation.

“I would not recommend the Chief accept the invitation because it would be a circus,” Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) told reporters.

Earlier this week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) spoke out to defend the judicial branch’s independence.

“I have total confidence in the Chief Justice of the United States to deal with these internal court issues,” McConnell said.

“The Supreme Court and the court system is a whole separate part of our Constitution, and the Democrats, it seems to me, spent a lot of time criticizing individual members of the court and going after the Court as an institution,” added the top Republican in the Senate.

Even though the Senate Judiciary Committee has subpoena power, it has not subpoenaed Chief Justice Roberts since the Democrats lack the necessary votes due to the absence of Senator Dianne Feinstein, 89, who is on sick leave.

“It takes a majority. I don’t have a majority,” Durbin told reporters, alluding to Feinstein’s absence.

“There’s been no discussion of subpoenas for anyone at this point,” he added, saying he hoped Roberts would come to testify voluntarily.

“The time has come for a new public conversation on ways to restore confidence in the Court’s ethical standards,” Durbin stated.