Senate Judiciary Chair says Clarence Thomas revelations ‘just get worse’ as committee probes ethical concerns
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) said the “tangled web” of revelations surrounding Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s lack of financial disclosures gets “worse and worse by the day”.
Speaking with Jake Tapper for CNN’s State of the Union, Mr Durbin expressed disappointment in the Supreme Court and Chief Justice John Roberts for failing to enact regulations regarding Justice’s disclosures.
“I thought I had heard it all but more disclosures about [Justice Thomas’] activity- just embarrass me,” Mr Durbin said.
Last month, ProPublica revealed that Justice Thomas had received lavish and expensive vacations from GOP donor Harlan Crow over the years without disclosing them. The investigation suggested that the heaps of gifts possibly played a part in Justice Thomas’ decision-making as a Supreme Court Justice.
Since then, more information has come to light showing how Justice Thomas has benefitted from Mr Crow’s generosity. In another ProPublica report, it was revealed that Mr Crow paid thousands of dollars in tuition for Justice Thomas’ grand-nephew to attend boarding schools.
Yet another ProPublica report revealed that Justice Thomas’ mother was living in a home rent-free, paid for by Mr Crow.
“The question is whether it embarrasses the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice,” Mr Durbin added.
Mr Durbin invited Justice Roberts to testify in front of the Judiciary Committee on the possible influence that the Justices’ undisclosed financial ventures could have had on rulings.
Notably, Justice Roberts declined.
“The bottom line is this: Everything is on the table. Day after day, week after week, more and more disclosures about Justice Thomas – we cannot ignore them,” Mr Durbin said.
Mr Durbin, as well as other Democrats, are serious about getting Justice Roberts to impose disclosure rules on the Court.
The Illinois Senator added: “The thing we’re going to do first, obviously, is to gather the evidence, the information that we need to draw our conclusions. I’m not ruling out anything.”
Mr Durbin’s commentary comes just one week after the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing regarding the matter.