Durbin tore into that response Tuesday.
“Harlan Crow believes that the secrecy of his lavish gifts to Judge Thomas is more important than the reputation of the highest court in this land. He is wrong,” the Illinois Democrat said.
The relationship between Thomas and Crow has been heavily scrutinized since a series of reports by ProPublica that detailed lavish gifts and luxury trips that Thomas received from Crow, plus favorable real estate transactions and gifts that Thomas did not include in his annual financial disclosures.
Durbin promised that the Judiciary would respond “more fully in short order” and will continue to push for “a substantive response to our requests for information to craft and advance the targeted ethics legislation needed to help restore confidence in the Supreme Court.”
Crow’s attorney rejected arguments by Senate Democrats that their investigations into Crow are centered around exploring a new ethics code for the court. Bopp accused them of “targeting Judge Thomas for particular and unjustified accusation.”
Durbin blasted Bopp’s argument in the letter that “Congress does not have the constitutional power to impose ethical rules and standards on the Supreme Court” and that “to do so would exceed Congress’s Article I authority and violate basic separation of powers principles.”
“Mr. Crow’s letter relies on a separation of powers defense when Mr. Crow does not work, and never has worked, for the Supreme Court,” Durbin said Tuesday.