More than 85 Advocacy Organizations Urge Senate to Confront Corrupting Supreme Court Influence & Issue Subpoenas to Harlan Crow & Leonard Leo
Court Accountability & United for Democracy Release Sign-On Letter Calling On Senate to Take Urgent Action Amidst Judicial Crisis
Washington, D.C. – Today, more than 85 advocacy organizations representing labor, women’s health, environmental activists, and more joined together in calling for the Senate to ramp up efforts to combat court corruption and issue subpoenas the Judiciary Committee approved last year to Leonard Leo and Harlan Crow, two wealthy benefactors at the center of the far right's capture of the Supreme Court.
In a sign-on letter led by Court Accountability and United for Democracy, the organizations also called on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin to launch a full-scale investigation into allegations of ethical violations by Supreme Court justices and advance a comprehensive anti-corruption bill to protect the rights and freedoms of the American people.
“The extraordinary ethics violations and lawbreaking at the Supreme Court have severe impacts on the credibility of our judiciary and the very principles our country was founded upon,” said Alex Aronson, executive director of Court Accountability. “We are facing an unprecedented judicial crisis that requires bold, immediate action. While the Senate has taken important measures already, it needs to go further to hold corrupt justices accountable and confront this urgent threat to our democracy.”
In the last year, investigative reporting has uncovered numerous incidents of ethical and legal misconduct at the Supreme Court - including conflicts of interest, inappropriate financial ties, concealed acceptance of gifts and travel in violation of federal law, and much more - that undermine the credibility and legitimacy of the Court. Recent polling from Hart Research shows just 40% of voters express a great deal or fair amount of confidence in the current court, while 33% have little or no confidence. Nearly 80% of voters say it is very or fairly important for Congress to take action to raise the Supreme Court’s ethical standards.
In the face of this growing judicial crisis, the letter also calls for the Senate majority to convene a set of hearings to investigate and uncover the full extent of corrupt influences on the Supreme Court, the effect that corruption has on the work of the Court, and its increasingly devastating impact on the lives of everyday Americans.
“The American people are seeking answers from trusted messengers and their representatives in Congress,” the letter states. “Much like the House January 6 committee helped Americans understand and internalize the threat to democracy posed by Trump’s insurrection, strategic Senate oversight into the special-interest corruption of the Supreme Court would educate the public, shape public narratives, and reach a broad and diverse voter base that may not yet fully appreciate the extent to which their lives are being harmed by the Supreme Court’s relentless abuse of power.”
The letter also underscores the need for advancing a Supreme Court anti-corruption and accountability bill as a down payment toward a long list of legislative actions and structural reforms that Congress must take to protect Americans’ freedoms and restore our democracy.
“The Supreme Court is compromised,” said Stasha Rhodes, Campaign Director of United For Democracy. “Recent revelations are pulling back the curtain on how far right-wing donors are willing to go — and how much money they are willing to spend — to install a MAGA supermajority. And their efforts have paid off. Those like Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito continue to do donors' bidding in case after case. As these justices advance their benefactors' agendas, Americans across the country are losing our rights and freedoms — from abortion access to the ability to fight the climate crisis. Congress must step in to give our communities the answers and action we deserve by issuing subpoenas, holding hearings, and passing meaningful legislation. Until the legislative branch fully exercises their oversight responsibility, as protected by the checks and balances system our Founding Fathers created, their constituents will continue to suffer.”
A copy of the letter sent to Leader Schumer and Chair Durbin is available here.
About Court Accountability
Court Accountability is a non-partisan research and advocacy organization committed to restoring the integrity of our broken judiciary by building movement power to combat judicial corruption and constrain anti-democratic judicial overreach. Court Accountability supports and aligns strategic efforts to expose and challenge special-interest influence and judicial abuse of power, driving congressional, civil society, and grassroots action. It works to improve judicial transparency, uphold ethical standards, and safeguard the principle of impartial justice that is fundamental to a democratic society.
About United for Democracy
United for Democracy is a diverse and growing coalition of over 130 grassroots organizations, labor unions, and advocates for reproductive rights, gun violence prevention, the environment, workers’ rights and more, all representing tens of millions of Americans. The nationwide campaign launched to educate Americans about the impact today’s Supreme Court is having on their lives, freedoms, and democracy — and call on Congress to rein in its unchecked powers.