During a heated Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, Republicans dismissed the attempts made by their Democrat colleagues to intimidate and undermine the legitimacy of the Supreme Court.
The hearing, led by Democrats, aimed to address “Supreme Court Ethics Reform” and coincided with a partisan media campaign accusing conservative justices of ethics violations and conflicts of interest.
In recent weeks, corporate media has targeted Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch with critical articles, highlighting accusations of ethics violations against them.
On Tuesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham accused Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee of engaging in a deliberate and concerted effort to undermine the legitimacy of the conservative majority on the Supreme Court.
Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL.) scheduled the hearing to address Supreme Court ethics reform, prompted by recent reports of Justice Clarence Thomas taking vacations with a wealthy friend who happens to be a GOP donor.
However, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) characterized the hearing as a deliberate and targeted endeavor by the left to undermine the legitimacy of the Supreme Court. He characterized the hearing as “a concentrated effort by the left to delegitimize this court and cherry-pick examples to make a point.”
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Graham said, “This assault on Justice Thomas is well beyond ethics. It’s about trying to delegitimize a conservative court that was appointed through the traditional process.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) dismantled the Democrats’ sensationalized accusations against conservative justices by providing a detailed account of the numerous trips undertaken by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor over the years. He argued that his Democrat colleagues showed no concern for these trips because their focus was solely on launching a political attack “directed at a Justice they hate.”
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) said, “Not only is this Democratic proposal unconstitutional, it’s unnecessary. The attacks on conservative justices are targeted, they are exaggerated, their alarmism is affected. The danger isn’t that rogue Justices are operating without ethics. It’s that Democrats aren’t winning every fight and they find that reality intolerable.”
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) argued, “The truth is, the Left simply disagrees with the decisions issued by our current Supreme Court—and they obviously can’t persuade the American people to adopt their radical policies through legislation—so they are attempting to destroy the Court’s credibility and intimidate the Republican-appointed justices and their families. They’re making clear that justices who disagree with them will pay a price—one that the Left will ensure is very high. This is all just a thuggish shake-down. ‘Nice Supreme Court, ya got there, America—it sure would be a shame if something happened to it.’”
Sen. Graham vowed, “We’re going to push back as hard as we can and tell the American people the truth about what’s going on here. This is not about making the court better. This is about destroying a conservative court. It will not work.”