Facing a mountain of ethics concerns, the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court has rebuffed Senate investigators, again.

by Bill Blum, LA Progressive

Counting on John Roberts to fix what’s wrong with the Supreme Court is a fool’s errand. This was true before the latest round of scandals involving Clarence Thomas, and it remains true in their aftermath. Roberts may be an “institutionalist,” as he is often labeled by mainstream legal commentators, but he appears to be just fine with the direction and management of the institution he leads. Far from being a potential savior of the court, Roberts is at the center of its many burgeoning problems.

On April 10, the eleven Democratic Senators who hold a slim majority on the upper chamber’s judiciary committee cosigned a respectful letter to Roberts, imploring him to open an investigation into Thomas’s failure to disclose a stunning array of gifts that he and his wife Ginni Thomas, the crackpot uber-right election denier, had received from Texas billionaire and Republican mega-donor Harlan Crow over the past twenty years. On April 20, they sent a second letter, inviting Roberts to testify on May 2 about the need for ethics reform on the court.

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge John G. Roberts Jr. testifies before Senate Judiciary Committee during confirmation hearings to be Chief Justice.

On April 25, Roberts rebuffed the solicitations, writing “I must respectfully decline your invitation. Testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee by the chief justice of the United States is exceedingly rare as one might expect in light of separation of powers concerns and the importance of preserving judicial independence.”

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