Blackburn recommends subpoenas in response to Democrats’ attacks on the Supreme Court
Published 10:31 am Wednesday, November 22, 2023
The Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats’ assault on the Supreme Court continues to escalate. In their latest attempt to undermine the court, Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) convened a hearing to move forward to subpoena friends of Justices Alito and Thomas. However, when I offered amendments to their subpoenas, Democrats backed down from their threats – for now. Despite their supposed reverence for our nation’s institutions, Democrats have continuously worked to delegitimize the Supreme Court. For years, they have been trying to pack the court with liberal justices who will do their bidding. Since they couldn’t accomplish that goal, Democrats, with the help of their media allies, are trying to slander conservative justices as corrupt. This will not stand.
While Democrats say otherwise on camera, many of them hold our nation’s institutions in contempt. They care about one thing above all else: power. When Democrats realized they didn’t have the votes to expand the Supreme Court from 9 to 13 Justices, they chose another path of attack: defamation. This isn’t about ethics – it’s about Democrats trying to undermine the nation’s highest court. They are demonstrating once again that when they don’t get their way, they try to bend the rules.
If Democrats cared about our institutions, such as the Supreme Court, they would have protected the justices who were threatened by far-left activists protesting at their homes. Where was Biden’s Department of Justice when leftists were using intimidation tactics in order to coerce the Supreme Court to rule in a way that forwards the left-wing agenda? Even following an assassination attempt on Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Democrats refused to take concrete action to protect our justices, such as passing my Protecting Our Supreme Court Justices Act.
In their attempts to smear Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, Democrats planned to issue subpoenas for Republican donors Harlan Crow and Robin Arkley, along with Leonard Leo, a conservative legal activist. Democrats particularly despise Leo because he is Co-Chairman of the conservative law group the Federalist Society. They allege that Thomas and Alito failed to disclose various trips they were invited on and gifts they were given. All of this despite the fact that the allegations against Thomas and Alito have been debunked. Instead, why don’t Senators Durbin and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) investigate Justice Sonia Sotomayor? If they were interested in playing fair, they wouldn’t ignore the fact that the Justice’s taxpayer-funded staff allegedly pressured public institutions where she has spoken to buy her books, which have raked in at least $3.7 million since she joined the bench. Moreover, Sotomayor refused to recuse herself in two copyright infringement cases regarding her book publisher. Since Democrats won’t initiate an investigation into this, I will. I filed an amendment issuing subpoenas to Sotomayor’s staff and her publisher in order to get to the bottom of this.
We shouldn’t stop with Justice Sotomayor. In order to expose to the American people where Democrats stand on truly acting in the country’s best interest, I proposed an amendment to subpoena Jeffrey Epstein’s estate in order to obtain the flight logs for his private plane. We need to get to the bottom of the trafficking and sexual abuse allegations surrounding Epstein and his partners. If Democrats are sincere in seeking full transparency, they will stand with me in this endeavor.
The Supreme Court is its own independent, co-equal branch of government. Congress neither has the right nor the obligation to interfere with the Court’s procedures. The Court can decide its own ethics standards, which it just recently did. The Framers intended for the Court to stay above the fray of partisan politics; thus, it is essential we protect it from becoming yet another partisan institution weaponized by the Left. I will continue to defend the integrity of Justices Alito and Thomas as well as the Supreme Court as a whole. And I will not allow Democrats, in an effort to appease their radical left-wing base, to weaponize the Judiciary Committee in order to destroy one of our most sacred institutions.
(Marsha Blackburn represents Tennessee in the U.S. Senate)