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Tags: subpoena | senate | democrats | chief | justice | john roberts | supreme court

Dems Wrestle With Chief Justice Roberts Subpoena

By    |   Monday, 10 June 2024 09:05 AM EDT

Senate Democrats appear split on whether to subpoena Chief Justice John Roberts in the fight for judicial ethics reform.

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin, D-Ill., are pushing for a Senate vote on the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act, after Justice Samuel Alito was reported flying the revolutionary war flag, "An Appeal to Heaven," outside his beach house.

Dems also have raised concerns about lavish gifts and vacations received by Alito and Justice Clarence Thomas.

However, it is unclear whether they could even get majority support on the committee.

"I'm not sure," Sen. Peter Welch, D-Vt., told The Hill after being asked whether all 11 Democrats on the panel would support a subpoena effort. "It's the reality of an 11-10 [majority]. … It just takes one."

Less than two weeks ago, Roberts declined an invitation to meet with Democrat senators to talk about Supreme Court ethics and the controversy over flags that flew outside homes owned by Alito.

Roberts' response came in a letter to the senators a day after Alito separately wrote lawmakers to reject their demands that he recuse from major Supreme Court cases involving former President Donald Trump and the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attacks because of the flags, which are like those carried by participants during the Jan. 6, 2021, event.

Justices decide for themselves when to step aside from cases, Roberts noted. Alito said he concluded nothing about the flags, both of which he said were flown by his wife outside their homes in Virginia and New Jersey, required his recusal.

Subpoenaing Roberts would help Democrats satisfy progressive supporters seeking Supreme Court reform and would come at a time the party plans to make abortion rights a key issue in the November election.

It also could fracture the Judiciary Committee in a way that stalls the panel's work.

"You bring forth a Supreme Court justice and we go back to unleashing a whirlwind," one Republican senator on the Judiciary Committee told The Hill.

"It becomes civil war. It's escalatory on a level you've never seen. It would be purely political and then everybody just puts on the bare-knuckles and takes off the gloves."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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.


Politics
Senate Democrats appear split on whether to subpoena Chief Justice John Roberts in the fight for judicial ethics reform.
subpoena, senate, democrats, chief, justice, john roberts, supreme court, ethics, reform
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2024-05-10
Monday, 10 June 2024 09:05 AM
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