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Senate Democrat Asks Chief Justice to Investigate Alito

By    |   Tuesday, 05 September 2023 11:05 AM EDT

A Democrat senator has asked Chief Justice John Roberts to investigate Justice Samuel Alito over recent comments about Supreme Court ethics, The Washington Post reported.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., wrote Roberts on Monday to take the unusual step of filing an ethics complaint against Alito, the Post reported Tuesday.

Whitehouse, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s oversight subcommittee, is a leading proponent of imposing stricter ethics rules on the court.

The senator's complaint against Alito centers around a July interview with opinion writers from The Wall Street Journal. In the column, the judge argued that "no provision in the Constitution gives them [Congress] the authority to regulate the Supreme Court — period."

"On the Senate Judiciary Committee, we have heard in every recent confirmation hearing that it would be improper to express opinions on matters that might come before the Court," Whitehouse wrote Roberts in a seven-page letter.

"In this instance, Justice Alito expressed an opinion on a matter that could well come before the Court."

In February Whitehouse introduced the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act of 2023, which the Judiciary Committee voted to advance in July.

"Justice Alito’s decision to opine publicly on the constitutionality of that bill may well embolden legal challenges to the bill should it become law," Whitehouse wrote to Roberts.

"Indeed, his comments encourage challenges to all manner of judicial ethics laws already on the books."

The senator also pointed out that "unlike every other federal court, the Supreme Court has no formal process for receiving or investigating such complaints."

The Post said Roberts’ response "will serve as a test for how the Supreme Court handles ethics complaints."

Roberts is also chairman of the Judicial Conference of the U.S., the policymaking body for federal courts.

Alleged violations by justices, at times, have been referred to the Judicial Conference and its committees.

Roberts could refer Whitehouse’s complaint to another body, or he could seek to handle it internally under the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act, as Whitehouse suggested in his letter, the Post said.

Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., introduced the House version of the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act of 2023.

Republican opposition means it's unlikely the legislation will become law.

Alito last week released his latest financial disclosure form following increased scrutiny over his and other justices' close ties to major political donors.

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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A Democrat senator has asked Chief Justice John Roberts to investigate Justice Samuel Alito over recent comments about Supreme Court ethics, The Washington Post reported. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., wrote Roberts on Monday to take the unusual step of filing an ethics...
supreme court, dem, senator, investigate, alito
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2023-05-05
Tuesday, 05 September 2023 11:05 AM
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