Chief Justice Roberts to Dem’s: Don’t Involve me in Political Targeting of Justice Thomas

Chief Justice Roberts to Dem’s: Don’t Involve me in Political Targeting of Justice Thomas

Radical activists and left-wing publications have been ratcheting up their three-decade-long crusade to take down conservative Black Justice Clarence Thomas.


Chief Justice John Roberts declined the invitation in a letter to the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Richard Durbin (D-IL) adding that such appearances before the committee were “exceedingly rare.”

In an accompanying statement on ethics practices, all nine justices, who have been facing increasing pressure for stricter reporting requirements, maintained that the current rules pertaining to gifts, travel, and financial disclosures are adequate.

Radical activists and left-wing publications have been ratcheting up their three-decade-long crusade to take down conservative Black Justice Clarence Thomas. The latest iteration of this quest to take down the leading conservative on the nation’s highest court is the unearthing of records that purportedly show ethical impropriety. Thus, they have called on Thomas to resign, or more to their preference, be impeached and removed.

Chief Justice Roberts is clearly refusing to insert himself into the midst of the Democrats’ political theater. In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, he makes his reasoning clear.

“Thank you for your letter of April 20, 2023, inviting me to appear at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on May 2,” he said. “I must respectfully decline your invitation.”

“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. The Supreme Court Library compilation of Justices Testifying Before Congress in Matters Other Than Appropriations or Nominations has identified only two prior instances Chief Justice Taft in 1921 and Chief Justice Hughes in 1935,” he added.

“Both hearings involved routine matters of judicial administration relating to additional judgeships in the lower courts and jurisdiction over appeals from lower court injunctions. My predecessor, Chief Justice Rehnquist, appeared before House committees twice, also on mundane topics. In his first appearance, in 1989, before the House Committee on Post Office and Civil Service, he offered views on improvements to the federal civil service system.”

“In 2004, he discussed the John Marshall Commemorative Coin Act at a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee,” he went on. “Neither Chief Justice Burger nor Chief Justice Warren nor Chief Justice Vinson ever appeared before a Congressional committee, though Chief Justice Warren did submit a prepared statement on federal employee salary increases to the Senate Post Office and Civil Service Committee in 1964. Congressional testimony from the head of the Executive Branch is likewise infrequent.”

“According to the United States Senate website, no President has ever testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and only three Presidents (in 1862, 1919, and 1974) have testified before any Congressional committee,” he noted.

“In regard to the Court’s approach to ethics matters, I attach a Statement of Ethics Principles and Practices to which all of the current Members of the Supreme Court subscribe,” he added.

The Chief Justice’s letter also added a scolding reminder that Supreme Court Justices have been facing increasing death threats due to the partisan attempt to weaponize the courts.

“A word is necessary concerning security,” the letter stated. “Judges at all levels face increased threats to personal safety. These threats are magnified with respect to Members of the Supreme Court, given the higher profile of the matters they address. Recent episodes confirm that such dangers are not merely hypothetical. Security issues are addressed by the Supreme Court Police, United States Marshals, state and local law enforcement, and other authorities. Matters considered here concerning issues such as travel , accommodations , and disclosure may at times have to take into account security guidance.”

The New York Times, in an article filled with scathing criticism of Justice Roberts’ letter, elides  the ethical reasoning behind his decision provided by the letter, although it provides a superficial patina of its contents and provides the readers with an opportunity to explore the letter on their own. Its report, however, goes on at length citing critics blasting the justice’s decision not to appear before the committee.

In a statement, Mr. Durbin said that the hearing would proceed despite the Chief Justice’s refusal to appear.

“I am surprised that the chief justice’s recounting of existing legal standards of ethics suggests current law is adequate and ignores the obvious,” Durbin wrote. “It is time for Congress to accept its responsibility to establish an enforceable code of ethics for the Supreme Court, the only agency of our government without it.”

The Times also cited judicial activist Gave Roth, the executive director of Fix the Court, which has called for stricter ethics rules for the Supreme Court.

“Roberts’s statement is nowhere near an appropriate response to the ethical failures of the current court,” Roth said.

ProPublica recently reported that Justice Thomas had accompanied Harlan Crow, a wealthy benefactor, on luxurious trips for almost two decades. These trips included flights on Mr. Crow’s private jet to an exclusive all-male retreat in Northern California, a vacation on his superyacht in Indonesia, and stays at his 105-acre lakeside resort in the Adirondack Mountains. However, none of these trips appeared on the financial disclosure forms that Justice Thomas submitted annually.

Furthermore, Justice Thomas also failed to disclose a real estate deal that he made with Mr. Crow. In 2014, a real estate company linked to Crow purchased a house in Savannah, Georgia, where Justice Thomas’s mother resided along with two vacant lots on the same street. According to documents filed at the Chatham County courthouse on October 15, 2014, Crow paid $133,363 to Justice Thomas and his family for the property. Currently, Justice Thomas’s mother still resides in the house that is owned by Mr. Crow.

Before the financial disclosure controversy, the radical left insisted that Justice Clarence Thomas resign because his wife is a Republican political consultant.

President Biden has a long history with Clarence Thomas going back to the justice’s explosive confirmation hearings three decades ago, which Thomas called a “high tech lynching.”


(TLB) published this article from Becker News as compiled and written by Kyle Becker

Header featured image (edited) credit:  Roberts/Thomas/org. BN article

Emphasis added by (TLB) editors



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