Chief Justice John Roberts declines Senate invitation to testify on mounting ethics concerns

Clarence Thomas, John Roberts
(Image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) last week invited Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts or another justice to testify on ethics standards at the high court, following a series of revelations involving Justice Clarence Thomas. Roberts sent back his response on Tuesday: No thanks.

Roberts said in a letter to Durbin he would "respectfully decline" the request to appear May 2, adding that "testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee by the chief justice of the United States is exceedingly rare, as one might expect in light of separation of powers concerns and the importance of preserving judicial independence." He attached a "statement of ethics principles and practices" signed by all nine justices that reiterated the ethical rules the justice hold themselves to and insisted they were sufficient.

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.