(WASHINGTON) Chief Justice John Roberts of the United States indicated on Tuesday that he would refuse to testify before Congress after a wide-ranging controversy over ethical issues involving his peers, including Justice Clarence Thomas.
Cruises on a mega-yacht, private jet trips … Judge Thomas, the court’s most reticent, has been at the center of controversy since ProPublica revealed the donation he accepted from Harlan Crow affairs man, without authorizing it.
John Roberts, who was called to testify May 2 before the Senate, raised “concerns about the separation of powers and the importance of maintaining judicial independence,” in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Chief Justice, himself part of the court’s conservative majority, also attached a copy of the Supreme Court’s ethical guidelines and a signed statement from the Nine Elders where they “reaffirm and reiterate basic ethical principles and practices.”
“Revelations about judges who do not respect expected ethical rules have stopped multiplying,” he alerted last week to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin in the letter asking Justice Roberts to testify.
Clarence Thomas has defended himself against any intentional abuse, asserting that the rules governing statements about this type of stay have changed and that Mr Crowe has no case pending before the High Court.
Conflict of interest
This isn’t the first time Mr. Thomas’ name has been linked to controversy: His wife, Jenny, a conservative lobbyist and activist, has taken part in Donald Trump’s crusade to prove – wrong – that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him.
Once the text messages and emails she had sent for this purpose were revealed, the left criticized an apparent conflict of interest and called for her husband to step down from any electoral bid.
Nominated by Republican President George H. W. Bush in 1991, Clarence Thomas was confirmed despite accusations of sexual harassment by a former aide, Anita Hill. He has always denied them, claiming that they are the victim of a “lynching”.
Since the recent revelations of this largesse, some Democrats-elect have called for his “immediate resignation.”
Conservative Judge Neil Gorsuch is also at the center of the controversy, with Politico revealing that he sold immediately after his Supreme Court confirmation in 2017 a large Colorado estate to law firm executive Greenberg Traurig who regularly prosecutes cases in the Supreme Court.
After John Roberts declined to testify, two senators, Democrat Angus King and Republican Lisa Murkowski, on Wednesday passed a bill creating a code of conduct for the Supreme Court and appointing someone responsible for reviewing potential conflicts of interest and complaints.
The two elected officials emphasized that the Supreme Court justices are the only federal judges not expressly subject to the code of conduct.
Americans have made their concerns about transparency — or lack thereof — clear. [de transparence] The Supreme Court and its judges.I Murkovsky.
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