In an extremely rare occurrence, all nine of the justices on the Supreme Court came together to issue a joint statement that pushed back on the attempts of Democrats in the Senate to force the high court to create new ethics oversight rules.
The push for the Supreme Court to create new ethics measures for itself comes after liberals have worked hard in recent weeks to create controversy about the dealings of three of the conservative justices on the court.
That is what led to the justices coming together to issue a statement telling the Senate to stay out of its business, basically.
In addition to that letter, Chief Justice John Roberts also sent a letter to Richard Durbin, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to inform him that he won’t be attending a hearing that Democrats in the upper chamber want to conduct.
As Roberts wrote:
“Testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee by the Chief Justice of the United States is exceedingly rare, as one might expect in light of separation of powers concerns and the importance of preserving judicial independence.”
In the joint statement from the nine justices, they outlined that they wrote the letter 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.”
The letter continued to explain how the Supreme Court deals with issues such as the ones that leftists have levied against Roberts, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas – all conservatives – recently.
According to The Associated Press, the letter was unanimous from all nine justices. The message contained within “though not expressly stated, is that the court unanimously rejects legislation proposed by Democrats seeking to impose on the justices the same ethics obligations applied to all other federal judges.”
The Supreme Court has faced growing concerns over its independence in recent years. Public confidence in the high court has waned, reaching the lowest point it’s been in 20 years or more, Gallup polling has shown.
Recent accusations have also been levied against the court for not properly dealing with potential ethical concerns surrounding Gorsuch and Thomas.
The letter, then, is apparently a direct response to the recent criticisms, with the goal of potentially answering not only the concerns of its critics, but also the demands by Senate Democrats to implement outside oversight.
A judicial watchdog group, Fix the Court, has been one of the biggest groups that has lobbied Congress to force the high court to establish a code of conduct. The left-leaning group’s executive director, Gabe Roth, commented recently:
“Without a formal code of conduct, without a way to receive ethics complaints and without a way to investigate them, the Supreme Court has set itself apart from all other federal institutions.”
For his part, Durbin didn’t seem to be deterred by the letter from the justices, saying that it only “raises more questions than it resolves.” He commented:
“Make no mistake, Supreme Court ethics reform must happen whether the Court participates in the process or not.”