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Tags: mcconnell | scotus | discipline | senate | democrats

McConnell: SCOTUS Should Punish 2 Dems Over Recusal Demands

By    |   Thursday, 06 June 2024 04:34 PM EDT

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., asserted that the Supreme Court should "discipline" a pair of Democrats who are lawyers for their pressure campaign to force the recusal of Justice Samuel Alito over the flag flap.

In remarks made on the Senate floor Wednesday, McConnell suggested Democrat Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut should face reprimand for privately urging Chief Justice John Roberts to remove Alito from Jan. 6 cases.

As members of the Supreme Court bar and bound by rules of the American Bar Association (ABA), McConnell said Blumenthal and Whitehouse are held to a higher standard than other Democrats angling for Alito's recusal.

"These senators are telling the chief justice, privately, to change the course of pending litigation. This is known as ex parte communication and it is frowned upon by the ABA's [Rules of Professional Conduct]," McConnell said on the chamber floor.

Having "engaged in unethical professional conduct before the court," McConnell said, they are "bound by a different set of rules than a mere senator. These rules provide for discipline against those who engage in 'conduct unbecoming' an officer of the court."

Whitehouse pushed back on McConnell's definition of "private."

"This was a public letter to the Court on an administrative matter pointing out the lack of any meaningful ethics process to enforce our recusal law, and asking the Chief Justice to act in his administrative role as chief," Whitehouse told CNBC in a statement. "This was not some secret request for a justice to rule one way or the other on the merits of a case."

Further, Whitehouse said, Roberts and Alito also viewed the communication as public.

Whitehouse and Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., sent a letter to Roberts in late May urging Alito's recusal on Jan. 6 cases because Alito's wife flew a flag upside down, an alleged dog whistle to Jan. 6 protesters.

Blumenthal followed with a letter asking the same, also adding that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas should recused.

McConnell dismissed the Democrats as "profoundly unserious" but said their efforts went "beyond the standard disgraceful bullying my Democratic colleagues have perfected."

"The legal profession is in distress. Unethical behavior by attorneys serving political causes unfortunately knows no party or faction," McConnell added. "It is up to the legal profession to police itself. And in the end, this means that courts — including the Supreme Court — must police their officers."

Mark Swanson

Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., asserted that the Supreme Court should "discipline" a pair of Democrats who are lawyers for their pressure campaign to force the recusal of Justice Samuel Alito over the flag flap.
mcconnell, scotus, discipline, senate, democrats
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2024-34-06
Thursday, 06 June 2024 04:34 PM
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