(DailyVantage.com) – Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s Minority Leader, warned Democrats about the planned subpoenas for multiple billionaires and an activist due to their associations with members of the Supreme Court. According to McConnell, the looming subpoenas are “completely inappropriate.”
The subpoenas will target Harlan Crow, a billionaire real estate businessman, and Robin Arkley II, an owner of a mortgage company. According to Senate Democrats, Arkley and Crow’s close associations and gifts to Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, two prominent members of the Supreme Court, are cause for concern amongst elected officials. McConnell is pushing back on the subpoenas, claiming that both Arkely and Crow are private citizens with no interest in influencing legislation.
Democrats like Sheldon Whitehouse, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, are focusing on the gifts provided to the Supreme Court justices, which included a fishing trip and a free stay at a high-end resort for Alito and Thomas, respectively. Members of the Senate claim that such gifts could entice judiciary members to act in Arkley and Crow’s best interests, but Thomas and Alito defend the gifts as purely gratuitous. Democrats also claim the gifts are similar to bribes, a claim that McConnell and other Republicans vehemently deny.
One of the senators advocating for the subpoenas is Senator Dick Durbin, from Illinois, who claims that he expects enough members of the Senate to approve the measure that would compel Arkley and Crow to appear before the Senate. The gifts Alito and Thomas received date back more than 20 years, raising concerns about a longstanding lapse in ethics among members of the Supreme Court. The subpoenas aren’t the only active measure regarding the ethics of Supreme Court justices either, as Democrats are investigating their finances and any other potential ethical concerns. The Senate Democrats are also pushing a policy to institute a rigid code of ethics for members of the Supreme Court to prevent justices from receiving gifts from prominent businesspeople in the future.
While McConnell claims the use of subpoenas is inappropriate and focused on private citizens without a vested interest in manipulating legislation, the Senate will likely support the decision to compel Arkely and Crow to testify. Most senators are concerned about undue influence in the Supreme Court and the lack of a rigid code of ethics for lifelong presidential appointees. The story is still developing, but Crow and Arkley will probably appear before the Senate in the coming weeks.
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