Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) told the ladies on The View on Monday that she believes Congress should "police" the Supreme Court in response to revelations that Justice Clarence Thomas may have received gifts from a wealthy friend he has known for 25 years.
Co-host Ana Navarro said,
Clarence Thomas, the Supreme Court justice under fire for reportedly accepting lavish trips … from a wealthy conservative donor, without disclosing it, that he had done so. There are also reports that that same donor may have purchased properties from the judge. He says he intends to amend his financial disclosure form now to reflect the real estate deal, but some are calling for his impeachment. The problem is how do you police the Supreme Court?
“Congress absolutely can and should police the Supreme Court," Porter responded. "Residual power for our government is in Congress, not in the executive branch, not with the president, not with the Supreme Court."
She added, "That is because we are the closest to the people. People elected and unelect us every two years. Congress can pass judicial code of ethics for the Supreme Court."
It wasn't clear what Porter meant by "residual power" being in Congress. The 10th Amendment of the Constitution says "residual" or reserved power goes to the states, not Congress.
Congress does have oversight to regulate the Supreme Court in some ways, however. Porter is correct that Congress can pass ethics rules for the Supreme Court.
A movement has been growing among Democrats to do just that because of Thomas's activities with Harlan Crow, his real estate billionaire friend of 25 years.
ProPublica published an expose on April 6 detailing Crow's gifts of expensive travel to Thomas and his wife, Ginni. Crow took the Thomases along with them on trips to places like Indonesia, using his private jet.
Thomas said after the piece was published that he told his fellow justices about the trips beforehand and was told they were permissible. Crow has never had any business before the Supreme Court, so there was never a conflict of interest.
“Early in my tenure at the Court, I sought guidance from my colleagues and others in the judiciary, and was advised that this sort of personal hospitality from close personal friends, who did not have business before the Court, was not reportable,” Thomas said in a statement. “I have endeavored to follow that counsel throughout my tenure, and have always sought to comply with the disclosure guidelines.”
Thomas said he would amend his gift disclosures to include the trips, but that wasn't good enough for Porter or other Democrats, who are now salivating at the possibility of impeaching and removing him from the court over this.
"We’ve seen the exact same play which is it, ‘Oops I’ll tell you about it later,’ and people get off the hook for it," Porter said on The View. "What that does is it erodes trust in government makes people think that Congress is corrupt, and they can’t trust their federal officials.”
How was there any corruption in Thomas's actions if his friend Crow never had any business before the Supreme Court?
Democrats are grasping at excuses to discredit or get rid of this justice, who they hate because he has been a faithful Black conservative for 30-plus years on the bench, and they think that's an oxymoron.