During a recent Senate Judiciary hearing on Supreme Court ethics reform, some Democratic senators tried to leverage the Supreme Court budget in exchange for an enforceable ethics code. However, Republicans such as Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley were quick to denounce the move as “disgraceful” and an act that “threatens the lives of the justices.”
Cruz and Hawley accused their Democratic colleagues of using the security of Supreme Court justices as a bargaining chip to get what they want. In particular, Cruz noted that “The Left is willing to threaten to cut off the funding for the security at the Supreme Court.”
Hawley went further, claiming that Democrats were effectively “threatening the lives of the justices” by trying to leverage the Supreme Court budget. He cited past incidents where Supreme Court justices have been threatened, including an attempted assassination of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and argued that denying the court security funding would be “unacceptable.”
The Supreme Court had recently asked Congress to increase funding for its security measures, citing “evolving risks that require continuous protection.” The requested funds would expand the security activities conducted by the Supreme Court Police to protect the justices and provide new IT security positions in cybersecurity, software development, and network engineering.
However, 15 Democratic senators have proposed language to be attached to next year’s Supreme Court funding bill, requiring the court to adopt new processes for recusals and ethics allegations. This move would essentially make the court answerable to Congress and could help establish a code of ethics to govern the conduct of its members.
Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen argued that “It is unacceptable that the Supreme Court has exempted itself from the accountability that applies to all other members of our federal courts, and I believe Congress should act to remedy this problem.”
Now Democrats threaten to cut off security funding for Supreme Court – unless the Justices do what Dems want. This is AFTER an assassin tried to kill Justice Kavanaugh. Talk about threatening the rule of law pic.twitter.com/5HmtxV23FW
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) May 2, 2023