WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today released the following statement regarding the Senate Judiciary Committee’s ongoing effort to authorize subpoenas for Harlan Crow and Leonard Leo relating to the Committee’s Supreme Court ethics investigation:
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“Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats remain united in our effort to implement an enforceable code of conduct for Supreme Court justices. To inform this effort, we will continue to pursue subpoena authorization for Harlan Crow and Leonard Leo—two individuals who have refused to comply with this Committee’s oversight requests for months.
“Due to scheduling issues, we were unable to complete the markup today. We will continue our efforts to authorize subpoenas in the near future. The highest court in the land cannot have the lowest ethical standards.”
Last week, Durbin and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Federal Courts, Oversight, Agency Action, and Federal Rights, announced that the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote to authorize issuing subpoenas as it relates to the Committee’s Supreme Court ethics investigation.
In July, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency (SCERT) Act to the full Senate. The bill would require Supreme Court justices to adopt a code of conduct, create a mechanism to investigate alleged violations of the code of conduct and other laws, improve disclosure and transparency when a justice has a connection to a party or amicus before the Court, and require justices to explain their recusal decisions to the public.
Durbin has been calling on the Supreme Court to adopt an enforceable code of conduct for more than a decade. He first sent a letter to the Chief Justice on this issue more than 11 years ago.
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