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Senate Democrats turn up the heat, announce ‘next step’ in Supreme Court ethics investigation

Democrats in the Senate have announced the next step in their ethics investigation of the U.S. Supreme Court, which was prompted after investigative reports found some justices enjoyed benefits that some suggested could have influenced their decisions on cases.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin announced on X, formerly Twitter, that he was seeking the ability to subpoena Harlan Crow, Leonard Leo and Robin Arkley II as the investigation moves into its “next step.” Crow and Arkley are wealthy Republican donors, and Leo is an activist that has also been tied to gifts given to Supreme Court justices.

“The Supreme Court is in an ethical crisis of its own making,” Durbin, D-Ill., said on Monday. “In order to adequately address this crisis, it is imperative that we understand the full extent of how people with interests before the Court are able to use undisclosed gifts to gain private access to the justices.”

“The inquiries the Committee has sent to Harlan Crow, Leonard Leo, and Robin Arkley are critical to this work,” the Democrat continued.

“As long as he refuses to act, the Judiciary Committee will,” Durbin concluded.

Some Republicans have decried the Supreme Court investigations as efforts to delegitimize the court, cast doubt on its rulings or to allow President Biden to potentially replace justices on the bench.

Leo responded to Durbin’s move in an October 19 letter he says the senator “never acknowledged.” The letter argues that Durbin has engaged in First Amendment retaliation against Leo and others, and lays out Leo’s reasons for refusing to cooperate.

“I will not bow to the vile and disgusting liberal McCarthyism, that seeks to destroy the Supreme Court simply because it follows the constitution rather than their political agenda,” Leo told Fox News Digital in a statement.

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