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Tags: mitch mcconnell | subpoenas | democrats | supreme court | conservative | judges | ethics

Sen. McConnell Warns Dems on 'Inappropriate' Subpoenas

By    |   Tuesday, 31 October 2023 07:18 PM EDT

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., warned Senate Democrats on Tuesday regarding their plans to issue subpoenas to two prominent billionaires and a conservative activist due to their close associations with conservative members of the Supreme Court.

McConnell characterized such actions as "completely inappropriate."

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., who chairs the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Federal Courts, announced on Monday that the Senate Judiciary Committee would vote to authorize subpoenas for billionaire real estate magnate Harlan Crow and mortgage company owner Robin Arkley II, The Hill reported.

According to media reports, both of whom had allegedly extended hospitality to Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

"What he's targeting here are private citizens with no legislative purpose. I think it's entirely and absolutely inappropriate," McConnell stated during a press conference on Tuesday.

In April, ProPublica disclosed that Crow had provided Thomas with lavish vacations for over twenty years. Additionally, in June, the same source unveiled that Arkley had invited Alito to his opulent fishing lodge in the remote Alaskan wilderness.

Durbin further revealed that the committee would be issuing a subpoena for Leonard Leo, the head of the Federalist Society, who had joined Thomas for a vacation at Crow's Camp Topridge resort in the Adirondacks and had been involved in orchestrating Alito's fishing excursion in Alaska.

On Tuesday, Durbin stated on the Senate floor that these subpoenas represent "the next step in the committee's ongoing investigation of the ethics of the Supreme Court." He explained, "It only comes after Mr. Crow refused to comply with committee requests and Mr. Leo and Arkley stonewalled the committee."

Durbin informed The Hill that he expects to secure sufficient Democrat votes within the committee to approve the subpoenas.

In a joint statement, Durbin and Whitehouse defended the use of subpoenas to compel cooperation with their panel's investigation into the ethics of the Supreme Court. They argued that, due to what they perceived as the outright defiance of legitimate oversight requests, there were no other viable options for the committee to consider beyond a "compulsory process."

They emphasized the earlier progress made by the Judiciary Committee in July about the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act, a legislative initiative crafted to enforce a code of conduct for Supreme Court Justices.

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., warned Senate Democrats on Tuesday regarding their plans to issue subpoenas to two prominent billionaires and a conservative activist due to their close associations with conservative members of the Supreme Court.
mitch mcconnell, subpoenas, democrats, supreme court, conservative, judges, ethics
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2023-18-31
Tuesday, 31 October 2023 07:18 PM
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