Democrats continue to make the Supreme Court of the United States the center of a major controversy as Justice Samuel Alito faces calls for recusal from Senate Democrats.
In an August 3 letter, Democrats led by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., urged Roberts to “take appropriate steps” to ensure that Alito recuses himself from Moore v. The United States.
However, Alito flatly refused, arguing that the Democrats’ reasoning for recusal was invalid. In an unusual statement released by the Supreme Court, Alito wrote: “This argument is unsound. There is no valid reason for my recusal in this case.”
Democrats are still fuming that Alito refused to adopt any code of conduct being imposed on them by the Senate.
“I know this is a controversial view, but I’m willing to say it. No provision in the Constitution gives them the authority to regulate the Supreme Court—period,” Alito said.
The senators have been pushing for an ethics code, and while the Judiciary Committee has already approved one on a party-line vote, it is unlikely to pass into law.
Democrat Senator Dick Durbin has accused the SCOTUS judge of “eroding public trust.”
“Justice Alito, of the originalist school of thinking that empty seats on an airplane don’t count as gifts, surprises no one by sitting on a case involving a lawyer who honored him with a puff piece in the Wall Street Journal. Why do these Justices continue to take a wrecking ball to the reputation of the highest court in the land?” Durbin said.
“The Court is in a crisis of its own making, and Justice Alito and the rest of the Court should be doing everything in their power to regain public trust, not the opposite. This episode is further proof that Chief Justice Robert’s failure to act remains untenable, and Congress needs to pass the SCERT Act to create an enforceable code of conduct. Supreme Court Justices should be held to the highest ethical standards, not the lowest,” he added.