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Axios: Senate Dems To Hold Supreme Court Ethics Hearing After Thomas Report

This article was written by Andrew Solender and published in Axios.

Senate Democrats on Monday revealed plans to hold a hearing into "the Supreme Court's ethical standards" in the coming days as they push for an investigation into Justice Clarence Thomas.

Why it matters: Thomas is under fire from Democrats over a recent ProPublica report detailing lavish gifts he received from billionaire Republican donor Harlan Crow over the course of decades.

Driving the news: In a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts, the 11 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee led by Chair Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) wrote that the hearing will cover "the need to restore confidence in the Supreme Court’s ethical standards."

  • "If the Court does not resolve this issue on its own, the Committee will consider legislation to resolve it," they wrote, amid a push from some Democrats to back a proposal to compel the high court to create or adopt an ethics code for justices.

  • With regards to Thomas, the lawmakers noted that Roberts "[does] not need to wait for Congress to act" to open an investigation, adding, "We urge you to do so."

The big picture: The letter builds on already mounting pressure from Democrats for Roberts to take action in the wake of the ProPublica report published Thursday.

  • Nearly two dozen House and Senate Democrats wrote to Roberts on Friday seeking a "swift, thorough, independent and transparent investigation" as part of his duty to "safeguard public faith in the judiciary."

  • Some Democrats have gone even further, calling for Thomas to resign — or be impeached by Congress.

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