By Meagan Hatcher-Mays, Indivisible Director of Democracy Policy
All summer long, we’ve seen a barrage of revelations about Supreme Court justices and their apparent inability to adhere to basic ethical rules and regulations. A comprehensive list of the justices’ alarming behavior would turn this letter into a novel, but here are some brief highlights:
Justice Clarence Thomas: Justice Thomas has accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in lavish gifts and travel, school tuition for a family member, and rent payments for his mother, all from wealthy MAGA donors. Thomas’s financial entanglements were so numerous that his most recent disclosure form included a “corrections” section including millions of dollars worth of assets, insurance policies, spousal income, and gifts that he had previously failed to mention.
Justice Samuel Alito: Reporting indicates that Justice Alito (among other questionable actions) leaked the decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby to anti-abortion activists and donors before the decision was issued by the Court, accepted free travel on a private plane to a luxury vacation in Alaska from a person with business in front of the Court, and took a free trip to Rome paid for by an anti-abortion group where he gave a caustic speech attacking foreign leaders.
If that weren’t bad enough, Justice Alito then took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to defend his corrupt behavior and claim, unbelievably, that “No provision in the Constitution gives [Congress] the authority to regulate the Supreme Court — period.”
While it’s possible Justice Alito missed “separation of powers” day in law school, or possibly an entire semester’s worth of Constitutional Law, we think it’s more likely that this Supreme Court has gone completely off the ethical rails and devolved into a legitimacy crisis of its own making. In times of crisis like this, Congress must use its constitutional authority — which does, in fact, exist — to restore integrity to the Supreme Court.
That’s why we’re partnering across the movement in asking you to sign on to this letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin, urging them to address these instances of blatant corruption. In short, the Senate has no choice but to subpoena Justices Thomas, Alito, and their billionaire benefactors as well as launch a full-scale investigation in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and other relevant committees, into the ethical crisis engulfing the Supreme Court.
You know we don’t ask you to sign petitions, and you can be assured that’s not what we’re asking for here. Petitions often don’t go anywhere and have no target for change — they’re used to recruit supporters for contact lists and otherwise languish, never to be seen by your representatives. We’re going to take this letter, with all of your signatures, and hand-deliver it to Leader Schumer and Chairman Durbin. They need to hear your concerns about this out-of-control-SCOTUS directly from you. And they need to know that ignoring the justices’ corruption simply isn’t an option.
Thank you for standing with us in our fight for a fair judiciary.