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Le titre troublant (Durbin invites Chief Justice John Roberts to testify on Supreme Court ethics before a Senate committee) est parlant.
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Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin has requested that Chief Justice John Roberts or “another Justice whom you designate” appear before his committee next month for a hearing on Supreme Court ethics rules.
The call for testimony comes after Senate Democrats have raised questions about whether the ethical standards of the high court need to be reviewed or change in the wake of a ProPublica report that found Justice Clarence Thomas has gone on several luxury trips involving travel subsidized by GOP megadonor Harlan Crow.
The hospitality was not disclosed on Thomas’ public financial filings with the Supreme Court, ProPublica said.
In his letter, Durbin argued that there is precedent for justices to testify before the committee, citing a hearing in 2011 when then-justices Stephen Breyer and Antonin Scalia appeared for a hearing.
“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,” Durbin wrote. “The status quo is no longer tenable.”
The Supreme Court did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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