But Also Joins Illinoisans in Asking Chairman Durbin to Keep Up the Pressure
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2023
Contact: Emily Phelps | email@example.com
Washington, DC — Today, in response to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s mark up of the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act, Meagan Hatcher-Mays, Indivisible’s Director of Democracy Policy, released the following statement:
“We thank Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin for marking up Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act today. This bill would go a long way toward restoring the public’s faith in the Court by imposing an ethics code on the justices, strengthening disclosure requirements, and clarifying when justices are required to recuse themselves from certain cases.
“But we agree with the 29 Indivisible groups who sent a letter to Chairman Durbin urging him ‘not to stop there … The Supreme Court is not untouchable. They are subject to congressional oversight just like every other branch of government and every other federal agency. In fact, Congress has a constitutional duty to perform oversight over the Court and reform it as necessary; refusing to do so only emboldens corruption.’
“There’s a reason why this Supreme Court is the least popular in history. It’s not just because they’re unapologetically stripping everyday Americans of their fundamental rights, it’s also because they’re getting lavishly rewarded by billionaires representing special interests for doing so. This cannot continue. SCERT is a critical first step towards bringing the Supreme Court back in line, but further investigations and oversight are needed. We urge Chairman Durbin and Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats to do everything in their power to address corruption at the Supreme Court, and issue subpoenas to the justices and the corrupt billionaires in their network if necessary.”
The full text of the letter from 29 Indivisible groups across the state of Illinois to Senator Durbin is below.
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About the Indivisible Project
The Indivisible Project (501c4) is a social movement non-profit driven by a vision of a real democracy - of, by, and for the people. Indivisible began in 2016 as a viral guide to resisting Trump’s agenda. Today, the Indivisible movement is a network of thousands of local groups and millions of activists across every state. The Indivisible Project drives campaigns for bold progressive policies, lobbies Congress, and equips activists with tools to build lasting progressive power, everywhere. Together, we fight to defeat the rightwing takeover of American government and build an inclusive democracy.
July 17, 2023
The Honorable Dick Durbin
United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Chairman Durbin,
We write to you today as a coalition of 29 progressive membership groups from the great state of Illinois in strong support of the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act (“SCERT”), and we thank you and the Judiciary Committee for taking the steps necessary to move this important bill to the Senate floor for a vote.
We have been horrified at reports of certain justices, like Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, receiving lavish gifts, going on luxury vacations, and even receiving tuition payments and rent for family members – sometimes receiving these perks from billionaires who have business pending in front of the Supreme Court. The fact that these justices are engaging in such blatantly corrupt behavior, all while stripping everyday Americans of our fundamental rights, just adds insult to injury.
Etched above the doors of the Supreme Court are the words “Equal Justice Under Law.” We can no longer trust in those words when the justices who sit on the bench only deliver specialized justice to those with access. The SCERT Act will go a long way towards getting this out-of-control, corrupt Court back on track and begin to restore the public’s faith in the judiciary.
But we urge you not to stop there. The Judiciary Committee must also thoroughly investigate the corrupt actions of Justice Thomas, Justice Alito, and any other justice who may have curried favor with billionaires or otherwise engaged in ethical misconduct, even if that means issuing subpoenas. The Supreme Court is not untouchable. They are subject to congressional oversight just like every other branch of government and every other federal agency. In fact, Congress has a constitutional duty to perform oversight over the Court and reform it as necessary; refusing to do so only emboldens corruption.
As you know, the justices’ inability to behave ethically outside of work hours has thrown the Supreme Court into a severe legitimacy crisis. Our own trust in the Court as an institution has been significantly undermined by reports of the justices’ highly questionable extracurricular activities. The Supreme Court is supposed to be a fair arbiter of the law and the constitution, not a vending machine that grants favors to billionaires. Thank you for moving the SCERT Act forward so that we can begin to address this problem. We look forward to hearing from you about the committee’s next steps.
Chicago NOW (National Organization for Women)
Chicago Women Take Action
ILVOTE of Champaign County
ILVOTE of Madison County
Indivisible Chicago Alliance
Indivisible Chicago-South Side
Indivisible Downtown Chicago
Indivisible Lakeview + Lincoln Park + Old Town
Indivisible Metro East
Indivisible of West Central Illinois
Indivisible Western Springs and Surrounding Areas
IndivisibleNWIL Crystal Lake
Monroe County Democrats
NWSOFA - Indivisible (Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action)
Social Justice Advocates, UCC
Voices of Reason
Western Front Indivisible