Senate's investigation of the Supreme Court is heating up

November 5, 2023

The Democratic members of the U.S. Senate who are conducting an ethics investigation of members of the U.S. Supreme Court are getting ready to take the next step in their investigation. 

What is this next step?

According to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) - the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the committee that is leading the ethics investigation - the next step is issuing subpoenas to three individuals.

The three individuals are Harlan Crow, Leonard Leo, and Robin Arkley.

Background

The investigation that is currently being carried out by the Senate Judiciary Committee comes, according to Fox News, after several investigative reports revealed that some of the justices received benefits from wealthy individuals, like Crow, that they did not publicly disclose.

The outlet reports, "Crow and Arkley are wealthy Republican donors, and Leo is an activist that has also been tied to gifts given to Supreme Court justices."

The investigative reports, of course, took things a step further by implying that the justices who received these benefits may have been influenced by them in their legal decision-making. This claim has not been proven.

But, now, senate Democrats are running with these reports. They have used these reports to launch their investigation, and, there is little doubt that the ultimate goal of the investigation is to get some kind of control over the Supreme Court, under the guise of court reform.

Durbin is now going to take the next step in the investigation by subpoenaing Crow, Leo, and Arkley.

"In order to adequately address this crisis . . ."

Durbin revealed his committee's next steps in a press release that he published on Oct. 30, 2023.

There, he wrote:

In order to adequately address this crisis, it is imperative that we understand the full extent of how people with interests before the Court are able to use undisclosed gifts to gain private access to the justices.  The inquiries the Committee has sent to Harlan Crow, Leonard Leo, and Robin Arkley are critical to this work.

Durbin goes on to claim that the subpoenas are necessary "due to Crow, Leo, and Arkley’s intransigence." In other words, it appears that Crow, Leo, and Arkley have been unwilling to comply with the committee's investigation.

It is unclear how these subpoenas are going to play out, as it is also unclear how the committee's investigation is going to play out.

One thing that Chief Justice John Roberts has made clear is that he is not going stand for these attacks on members of his court.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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