Supreme Court justices reject ethics complaint against Clarence Thomas

 May 1, 2023

Although the Supreme Court has grown increasingly divided along ideological lines, the judicial body recently took a unanimous stand. 

According to the Blaze, all nine justices signed a letter sent to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin last week in which they rejected an ethics complaint brought by Democrats against Justice Clarence Thomas.

Report detailed vacations with wealthy Republican

The complaint concerns a report from the left-leaning news outlet ProPublica which accused Thomas of going on expensive vacations with Republican mega donor Harlan Crow.

"The undersigned Justices today reaffirm and restate foundational ethics principles and practices to which they subscribe in carrying out their responsibilities as Members of the Supreme 4 Court of the United States," the justices asserted.

"This statement aims to provide new clarity to the bar and to the public on how the Justices address certain recurring issues, and also seeks to dispel some common misconceptions," they added.

The letter came in response to an earlier request by Durban to have Chief Justice John Roberts provide testimony on Capitol Hill.

Democrats threaten to impose new ethics rules

"I must respectfully decline your invitation as one might expect in light of separation of powers concerns and the importance of preserving judicial independence," Roberts wrote.

Fox News reported Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are considering draft legislation on ethics rules for Supreme Court justices.

"The actions of one Justice, including trips on yachts and private jets, were not reported to the public. That same Justice failed to disclose the sale of properties he partly owned to a party with interests before the Supreme Court," Durban said in a statement.

"It is time for Congress to accept its responsibility to establish an enforceable code of ethics for the Supreme Court, the only agency of our government without it," he continued.

Thomas claims to have acted appropriately

The Illinois lawmaker went on to express displeasure over Roberts' decision not to answer questions from members of his committee.

"I am surprised that the Chief Justice’s recounting of existing legal standards of ethics suggests current law is adequate and ignores the obvious," Durbin remarked.

Roll Call reported that for his part, Thomas issued a statement of his own last month in which he denied acting inappropriately.

"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," the justice declared.

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