A group of 18 Democratic congressmen has written a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts, calling for an internal investigation into Supreme Court Associate Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.
The letter, led by Rep. Dan Goldman of New York, cites reports from ProPublica, a nonprofit news outlet, which raised questions about Thomas and Alito’s compliance with judiciary ethics rules.
“Despite your insistence that the Court can police itself, you have provided no rationale or vision for how the Court will do so,” the members wrote, adding that “the Court’s failure to conduct a meaningful, independent investigation into allegations against Justices Thomas and Alito only underscores widespread concerns that the Supreme Court is not subject to a code of ethics or an adequate enforcement process.”
In their letter, the Democrats criticized Roberts for not providing a rationale or vision for how the Court will address allegations against its justices. They demanded the establishment of an independent investigative body within the Court to probe Thomas and Alito, expressing concerns about the Court’s perceived lack of a code of ethics or an adequate enforcement process.
Prominent left-wing Democrats, including Reps. Adam Schiff, Ted Lieu of California, and Jamie Raskin of Maryland, signed the letter. It also included a list of allegations against Thomas and Alito, comparing them to the Court’s investigation into the leak of its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that overturned Roe v. Wade.
ProPublica’s reports accused Thomas of failing to disclose trips taken with conservative billionaire Harlan Crow, while Alito was accused of not disclosing a trip with conservative billionaire Paul Singer to Alaska. The letter highlighted ProPublica’s comparison of Alito’s conduct to that of another judge, A. Raymond Randolph, who was informed by the judiciary’s financial disclosure office that he was not required to disclose a trip on a private jet with a conservative donor.
It is worth noting that ProPublica’s donors include left-wing organizations that have previously called for Thomas’s resignation or investigation. The news outlet cited some employees of these organizations as “experts” in their stories about Thomas.
Chief Justice Roberts has consistently rejected efforts by Democratic lawmakers to examine the Court on ethical grounds. In April, he declined an invitation from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin to testify before the committee on Supreme Court ethics, citing precedents related to testimony by justices.
Last week, Justice Alito shot back against ProPublica’s reporting that alleged a conflict of interest from the SCOTUS bench.
“My recollection is that I have spoken to Mr. Singer on no more than a handful of occasions, all of which (with the exception of small talk during a fishing trip 15 years ago) consisted of brief and casual comments at events attended by large groups,” Alito told the Wall Street Journal. “On no occasion have we discussed the activities of his businesses, and we have never talked about any case or issue before the Court.”