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Chief Justice Roberts asked to testify in Senate on Supreme Court ethics amid Thomas controversy

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Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., on Thursday asked Chief Justice John Roberts to testify on May 2 about the ethics rules governing the Supreme Court, as controversy surrounds Justice Clarence Thomas’ visits continuing, which he took with GOP Mega. Giver.

“I invite you, or any other justice you nominate, to testify at a public hearing regarding ethics rules before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 2, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. in Room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building.” “Control Supreme Court justices and possible improvements to those rules,” Durbin said in a letter to Roberts on Thursday.

Durbin said, “in extending this invitation, I propose that the scope of your testimony be limited to these topics, and you will not be expected to answer senators’ questions on any other matter.”

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Durbin this month asked Roberts to launch an investigation into Thomas over what Democrats say was his “misconduct” that was detailed in a ProPublica report.

liberal news outlet The report accused Thomas of receiving unreasonably lavish vacations from Republican mega-donor Harlan Crowe, which allegedly included undisclosed trips around the world on Crowe’s yacht and private jet.

Expert dismisses ProPublica’s report as a political hit piece and explains he judges Accepting invitations to friends’ properties without paying for or disclosing it is allowed for dinners or holidays.

Thomas issued a rare statement following the report, saying he has consistently followed ethical guidelines.

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Thomas said, “Harlan and Kathy Crowe are among our dearest friends, and we’ve been friends for over twenty-five years.”

“As friends do, we have joined them on many family visits over the course of more than a quarter century. Early in my tenure on the Court, I sought guidance from my colleagues and others in the judiciary, and I was advised that such personal hospitality from close personal friends who had no business before the Court was not reportable,” Thomas said.

“I have endeavored to follow that advice throughout my tenure, and have always sought to adhere to disclosure guidelines,” he said. “These guidelines are now being changed, as the judicial conference’s committee responsible for financial disclosure for the entire federal judiciary announced new guidance just last month. And it is certainly my intention to follow this guidance in the future.” Is. “

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Durbin told Roberts on Thursday that “there has been a steady stream of revelations about other federal judges and, indeed, judges generally falling short of the ethical standards expected of public servants.”

Durbin said, “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 sustainable.”

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Durbin states that “there is ample precedent for sitting Supreme Court justices to testify before Congress, including regarding ethics.” listened, and that hearing” included a strong exchange about the Court. approach to matters of ethics.”

Brandon Gillespie of Fox News Digital contributed to this report.