Durbin asks Roberts to testify on Supreme Court ethics flaps

Politics

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin is escalating Democrats’ drive for ethics reforms at the Supreme Court by inviting Chief Justice John Roberts to testify before Congress next month.

In the wake of recent reports about undisclosed real estate transactions and expense-paid luxury trips taken by Justice Clarence Thomas, Durbin called on Roberts to appear before the committee on May 2, saying his testimony on ethics issues would improve public faith in the high court.

“There has been a steady stream of revelations regarding Justices falling short of the ethical standards expected of other federal judges and, indeed, of public servants generally,” the Illinois Democrat wrote in a one-page letter to Roberts. “These problems were already apparent back in 2011, and the Court’s decade-long failure to address them has contributed to a crisis of public confidence. The status quo is no longer tenable.”