Democrats’ quest to undermine the Supreme Court slowed on Thursday when the Senate Judiciary Committee tabled a vote to subpoena private citizens Harlan Crow and Leonard Leo over their friendships with Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.
Chairman Dick Durbin said he backed off the vote because the committee “ran out of time” to evaluate an avalanche of amendments that he said Democrats did not know about until the night before the committee meeting.
Ranking Member Lindsey Graham, after calling the conduct of the Democrat-led committee “a complete sh-t show,” warned Durbin that Republicans filed “a bunch of amendments” to hamper Democrats’ intimidation campaign.
The 88 amendments aim to redirect the committee’s focus from executing Democrats’ public vendetta against Republican-nominated justices, which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer promised in 2020, to legitimate oversight that is currently blocked by the Senate’s Democrat majority.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn confirmed to the committee that she filed several of the amendments including one to subpoena Justice Sotomayor’s staff over her book-selling scandal.
Blackburn noted that “since we’re in the business of issuing subpoenas,” Republicans like her plan to subpoena Jeffrey Epstein’s estate over his flight logs, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to explain how he lost track of 85,000 migrant children, the Department of Justice over its decision to terminate a program aimed at rooting out Chinese spies in the U.S., Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s staff over his targeting of former President Donald Trump, and the DOJ and Federal Trade Commission over their investigation of Elon Musk.
“Our Supreme Court justices, especially Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett, they have been subjected to threats on their lives. Their families have been subjected to threats on their lives. And yet, this is what you and Senator Whitehouse are choosing to focus on, is a discrediting of the court,” Blackburn said. “We know what this is about. We should be talking about protections for the court.”
When Durbin adjourned the committee, he vowed to “absolutely” revive the subpoena fight but did not specify when he plans to do it.
Thomas and Alito’s friendships with wealthy men are not illegal, nor did their so-called “undisclosed lavish gifts and trips” amount to any of the ethics violations outlined in the Supreme Court’s code of conduct at the time they were received. Yet, Durbin repeatedly claimed that the Supreme Court “is in an ethical crisis of its own making.”
The leftist senators and their dark-money allies leading the charge against Thomas and Alito claim the Supreme Court has a “history of ethical challenges” that require congressionally mandated, compulsory regulation. Their efforts are aided by a litany of coordinated hit pieces on Thomas, Alito, and Justice Neil Gorsuch by ProPublica (which attacks conservatives 23 times more often than Democrats), Politico, and other corporate media outlets.
Durbin claimed during Thursday’s meeting that “the committee has not engaged in a vendetta against conservatives” and “is not seeking the subpoena authorization to score political points.”
What he did not mention is that Democrats like he and Sheldon Whitehouse only became interested in the “ethics” of SCOTUS because it was politically and personally strategic for their party to target the conservative-controlled court. He also did not acknowledge that Democrat-nominated justices have a whole host of decades-old violations that are worth probing but have been readily ignored by the senators and the media.
During a committee hearing on the subpoenas last week, Republicans called out Democrats’ partisan scheming for being a transparent effort to undermine and delegitimize the Supreme Court.
Sen. Chuck Grassley warned that the Supreme Court “is an independent branch of government NOT a political punching bag.”
Sen. Tom Cotton, similarly, accused Democrats of targeting the court simply “because you don’t like the way they rule.”
Sen. Ted Cruz diagnosed the smear campaign as a pet project of “left-wing billionaires” who endorse a “full on assault on our Constitution.”
“Democrats hate our system of separation of powers, and they are willing to burn down the Supreme Court to accomplish their political goals,” Cruz said.