But a Durbin spokesperson told POLITICO on Tuesday that Roberts refused to appear for the hearing. Durbin previously said that he plans for the hearing to continue even if Roberts declines to appear.
“I am surprised that the Chief Justice’s account of existing legal ethical standards suggests that the current law is adequate and ignores the obvious. A judge’s actions, including trips on yachts and private planes, were not reported to the public. That same judge failed to disclose the sale of properties he owned in part to an interested party before the Supreme Court,” Durbin said in the statement.
He added: «It is time for Congress to accept its responsibility to establish an applicable code of ethics for the Supreme Court, the only agency of our government without it.»
In a letter to Durbin explaining His reasons for declining, Roberts wrote that testimony by a chief justice before Congress «is extremely rare, as might be expected in light of concerns about the separation of powers and the importance of preserving judicial independence.»
Durbin, who is also the majority whip, earlier suggested that the committee cannot subpoena Roberts because of the absence of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a longtime member of the Judiciary Committee who has been out of the Senate for months while receiving treatment. for herpes zoster.
The ProPublica report detailed Thomas’ two-decade relationship with Crow, which included trips on Crow’s private jet and yacht, as well as visits to Crow’s luxurious properties.