Critic of existing judicial ethics process to testify at hearing
Washington, DC — As the Supreme Court corruption crisis grows, a Senate Judiciary subcommittee will today hold a hearing on federal judicial ethics processes at the Judicial Conference. A federal judge and former member of the Judicial Conference who raised concerns about a lack of transparency surrounding complaints filed against Justice Thomas will testify. Ahead of the hearing, Accountable.US president Kyle Herrig released the following statement:
The growing Supreme Court corruption crisis — sparked by Justice Thomas’s decades-long improper relationship with billionaire benefactor Harlan Crow — has highlighted just how fundamentally broken our Court is and how urgently it needs reform. Chief Justice Roberts has the power to make that happen, but he hasn’t shown the courage, instead forcing Congress to step in. Whether by Roberts or Congress, we need urgent reform to restore credibility and integrity to our Court.”
Reporting from Bloomberg revealed that over a decade ago, US District Judge Mark Wolf, a member of the Judicial Conference at the time, raised concerns about the body’s handling of public allegations of wrongdoing involving Justice Thomas. The Judiciary Committee responsible for enforcing financial reporting rules had cleared Thomas, but did not report information about the complaints or the resolution to the conference. Wolf questioned the lack of information, raising questions about whether the federal judiciary’s process for enforcing financial reporting rules is inadequate — questions that have resurfaced in the wake of new revelations.
Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin and Federal Courts Subcommittee Chair Sheldon Whitehouse have led the charge in demanding Supreme Court transparency and accountability. Earlier this month, Senator Whitehouse sent a letter to the Judicial Conference urging the body to be more transparent about its procedures for considering potential violations of the law by Supreme Court justices, and to inform the public of how the Judicial Conference resolved past complaints related to Justice Thomas’s financial disclosures — critical information given the growing corruption crisis.
Accountable.US has repeatedly called for action. Following the Senate Judiciary Committee’s first hearing on Supreme Court ethics reform, Accountable.US released new research revealing Republican members on the Committee have accepted nearly half a million dollars in campaign contributions from Harlan Crow himself. Accountable.US also pressured Chief Justice Roberts to take action with a mobile billboard campaign near the Capitol Building and around Roberts’ Chevy Chase country club.