Sen. Dick Durbin Criticizes Chief Justice John Roberts For His Lack Of Ethics Reform
On Thursday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) criticized Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts for his lack of ethics reform, pledging to advance a Democratic ethics bill soon.
The comment was made following a rocky month for the Supreme Court Justices. A recent ProPublica investigation exposed Justice Samuel Alito for taking a luxury fishing trip with hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer in 2008, which may have resulted in a conflict of interest in later court proceedings.
In addition, the Supreme Court has made a series of controversial decisions in recent weeks, one being to reject affirmative action programs at Harvard College and the University of North Carolina, ruling that colleges may not consider race as a factor in admissions.
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“Many questions remain at the end of the court’s latest term regarding its reputation, credibility, and ‘honorable’ status,” said Durbin. “I’m sorry to see Chief Justice Roberts end the term without taking action on the ethical issues plaguing the court.”
Durbin then pledged to take action to reform the court.
“The highest court in the land should not have the lowest ethical standards,” he said. “That’s why, as I previously announced, the Senate Judiciary Committee will mark up Supreme Court ethics reform legislation when the Senate returns after the July 4th recess.”
A Supreme Court ethics reform plan has been proposed by numerous Democratic officials. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) has suggested a bill that would require the Supreme Court to adopt a code of conduct for itself, which would mandate that all justices adhere to the same gift, travel and income disclosure standards as members of Congress.
Roberts has not responded to Durbin’s comment.
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