Democrats Attempt To Take Control Of Supreme Court

Photo by Ian Hutchinson on Unsplash

In a letter circulated publicly on Sunday (July 9), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called out conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito for taking “lavish gifts and vacations from their powerful, billionaire friends.”

Despite not mentioning the justices by name, Schumer referenced them when mentioning ProPublica’s revelations this earlier year that Thomas and Alito took gifts from conservative donors — including lavish vacations and excursions on private planes — without revealing them to the public.

Schumer wrote in the “Dear Colleague” letter that the “MAGA-captured Supreme Court” felt free to “accept lavish gifts and vacations from their powerful, billionaire friends,” suggesting these weren’t “ordinary billionaires” but rather individuals he described as “ideological extremists” that would “bankroll hard-right MAGA causes.”

He added that these individuals would bring cases “before the same Justices they’ve patronized.”

Schumer added that Democrats would explore all options to pressure the Court to change its unethical procedures and would “explore every option” to restore “faith” in the U.S. courts, adding that Congress has the authority to “oversee the federal judiciary.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said his committee would mark up legislation in the coming weeks to address the ethical issues plaguing the Court.

On Thursday (July 6), Durbin declared that the “highest court” in the country shouldn’t have the “lowest ethical standards” and that the Judiciary Committee would prioritize “Supreme Court ethics reform legislation” after July 4 recess.

Durbin noted that the Senate had to act given the reluctance of the Court.

Durbin is expected to announce the timing of the committee markup and the legislation he intends to advance in the coming days.