May 18 2023

Senate Judiciary GOP to Durbin: Refocus Committee’s Efforts on Border Crisis, Fentanyl Epidemic Instead of Partisan Attacks on Conservative SCOTUS Justices

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, led a letter signed by every Republican on the committee highlighting the partisan nature of committee Democrats’ campaign to destroy the reputation of conservative Supreme Court Justices. Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) led committee Democrats in sending several letters demanding information from Harlan Crow, a private citizen, related to travel and hospitality provided to Justice Clarence Thomas.

The Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans urged Chairman Durbin to refocus the committee’s efforts on issues actually impacting the country, including the worsening border crisis and the fentanyl epidemic.

“We write with grave concerns about your demands.  Consistent with its Article I powers and the Rules of the Senate, the Committee must have a legitimate legislative purpose for its inquiry into Mr. Crow’s affairs, and the scope of the inquiry must be reasonably related to its purpose.  There appears to be neither here,” wrote the senators.

They continued, “Your requests appear misaligned and political.  Further, they only target conservative members of the Supreme Court.  To start, your letters claim that you believe ‘private access’ to justices—seemingly when justices socialize with anyone not on the Court—‘creates an appearance of undue influence that undermines the public’s trust in the Court’s impartiality.’  But judges, justices, politicians, and other public figures engage with friends in private settings every day—just as anyone else.”

The senators noted that these efforts to attack Justice Clarence Thomas and to “promote the perception of judicial corruption” are not only because Democrats do not agree with his judicial philosophy, but also because they wish to restructure the Court so that it will bend to their political will. These character attacks come from the same playbook that led to unwarranted attacks on other conservative jurists, including Judge Robert Bork and Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

They concluded, “We urge you to withdraw your May 8th letters to Mr. Crow and his entities and to refocus the Judiciary Committee’s efforts on legitimate inquiries.  With the country confronting a fentanyl epidemic and a crisis on our border due to illegal immigration, there are many issues worthy of this Committee’s time and efforts.”

Full text of the letter is available HERE.