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To: U.S Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin, the U.S. Senate

It's Time to Deal with Supreme Court Corruption

Supreme Court corruption is out of control. Conservative justices have accepted undisclosed gifts from billionaires with business before the court. Dark money groups are exerting influence over a Trump-packed court. And there is no enforceable code of ethics to deal with conflicts of interest or provide transparency.

It's time for the Senate's Democratic leadership to hold hearings investigating the illegal and unethical conduct of Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito as well as other forms of corruption and conflict in the court. This must include subpoenas for right-wing megadonor Harlan Crow, sweeping investigations, and a vote on the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act (SCERT), which would require the Supreme Court to adopt and abide by a code of conduct.

Why is this important?

Right-wing billionaires have invested tens of millions to capture the Supreme Court. They've worked with Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to pack the court with conservative justices. They've funded cases to overturn abortion rights, shatter precedent, and strengthen corporate power.

And as has become clear due to recent blockbuster revelations, these billionaires have lavished gifts on conservative justices including Thomas and Alito—who have not disclosed these gifts for years or recused themselves from cases where there would be an apparent conflict of interest.

Furthermore, Justice Thomas's wife—conservative superactivist Ginni Thomas—has helped create and advise these networks of conservative donors and advocates. Yet Justice Thomas has never recused himself from cases involving her work—including cases around Donald Trump's efforts to subvert the results of the 2020 election, in which Ginni Thomas was directly implicated.

Despite hundreds of thousands in gifts, rampant conflicts of interest, and a historically low level of public trust in the integrity of the court, Chief Justice John Roberts has refused to act. And while Democrats in Congress have held the first hearings about a judicial code of ethics for the Supreme Court, they have not gone far enough, while Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Alito, Crow and others have dismissed congressional efforts to rein in the court.

Our senators need to use their power to rein in the corruption of the Supreme Court and take meaningful steps to restoring its balance and integrity.

It is Congress's authority and responsibility to act. Democrats hold a majority and need to use the power of their committee chairs to hold sweeping investigations into corruption and finally move forward a comprehensive ethics reform bill for a vote.

It will take far more to fix the right-wing capture of the court and deal with the epidemic of the influence of Big Money. We need to expand the court to rebalance it, to pursue impeachment of corrupt justices, and to pass other reforms that restore the integrity of our judicial system.

Sweeping investigations and a vote on ethics reforms are steps that are important—and within the power of today's Democratic majority.


2024-03-04 18:45:37 -0500

100,000 signatures reached

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