Friday, April 12, 2024

Conservative judicial activist rejects Senate subpoena in SCOTUS gifts inquiry

The Senate Judiciary Committee sent a subpoena to conservative judicial activist Leonard Leo as part of a months-long inquiry into undisclosed gifts to Supreme Court justices and he promptly rejected it, calling the move “politically motivated,” reported the Washington Post.

“I am not capitulating to his lawless support of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and the left’s dark money effort to silence and cancel political opposition,” Leo said of Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the committee’s chairman, in a statement to The Washington Post.

The committee voted along party lines on Nov. 30 to subpoena Leo and Texas billionaire Harlan Crow following reports that Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito accepted — and did not disclose — free luxury travel and gifts from Crow, Leo and conservative donor Robin Arkley II.

Crow did not receive a subpoena Thursday, his spokesman Michael Zona told The Post.

In a statement to The Post, Durbin said sending a subpoena to Leo was a necessary step.

“Since July 2023, Leonard Leo has responded to the legitimate oversight requests of the Senate Judiciary Committee with a blanket refusal to cooperate,” Durbin said. “His outright defiance left the Committee with no other choice but to move forward with compulsory process. For that reason, I have issued a subpoena to Mr. Leo.”

“Mr. Leo has played a central role in the ethics crisis plaguing the Supreme Court and, unlike the other recipients of information requests in this matter, he has done nothing but stonewall the Committee. This subpoena is a direct result of Mr. Leo’s own actions and choices,” Durbin continued.

The committee did not respond when asked for comment on why only Leo received a subpoena. And when asked why so much time elapsed between the vote and Leo’s subpoena being sent, Durbin’s office declined to expand on his original statement.

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