Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) criticized Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), during a Thursday hearing that culminated with Democrats subpoenaing Republican Donor Harlan Crow and conservative activist Leonard Leo.
After considering several judicial candidates, the Senate Judiciary Committee decided to subpoena Crow Leo. Durbin stated in his opening remarks that the subpoenas were “key pieces” of the legislative effort to create an effective code of conduct for the Supreme Court.
The hearing was full of heated moments. Republican members of the committee warned about precedents that they believed Democrats were setting by their actions. Cornyn allegedly fired at Durbin for allegedly not allowing Republicans the opportunity to speak.
Cornyn said, “Mr. Chairman, you have just destroyed one the most important Senate committees.” “And you have set a precedent that will be repeated each time one side takes advantage of the other and takes the low road.” It creates a precedent that will become the norm.
He said, “Congratulations for destroying the United States Senate Judiciary Committee.”
WATCH: Sen. John Cornyn blasts Dem Sen. Dick Durbin for refusing to let Republicans speak:
“You just destroyed one of the most important committees in the United States Senate…Congratulations on destroying the United States Senate Judiciary Committee.” pic.twitter.com/hySEshInWH
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) November 30, 2023
Democrats have sought to question Crow and Leo as the vice-president of the Federal Society in an ethics investigation into allegations that Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and other conservatives who are their friends, failed to disclose the luxury vacations they paid for.
The Supreme Court released a “Code of Conduct” weeks ago in response to increased scrutiny by Democrat legislators and news reports. Durbin said that the self-imposed code of ethics “falls short” and called on Congress to impose stricter standards for the high court.
Republicans have criticized Democrat-sponsored legislation, The Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act (SCERT), as a “court killing machine” that will “destroy the legitimacy of the conservative courts.” They claim that federal judges, including Supreme Court Justices, are already bound by an ethics code and that a law passed by Congress on the judiciary will unconstitutionally interfere with a separate branch of government.
Leo has been part of the Federalist Society for decades. Liberal activists have criticized its role in helping to advise and lobby for former President Donald Trump on the Supreme Court nominees Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, as well as Amy Coney Barrett.
Leo stated that he will not work with Senate Democrats after the hearing.
Leo stated, “Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have destroyed the Supreme Court. Now they are destroying the Senate.” “I won’t cooperate with this illegal campaign of political revenge.”
Brian Schwalb, the Democrat Attorney General of Washington, D.C., has also launched an investigation into Leo’s network.
Schwalb’s office was criticized for targeting Leo and ignoring an identical liberal dark money network managed by the Arabella Advisors consultancy firm.
Schwalb’s office opened an investigation into the network managed by Arabella Advisors after receiving the criticism.