The subpoenas are part of an ongoing investigation into the ethics and transparency of the Supreme Court, especially regarding the undisclosed gifts, travel, and perks that some justices have received from outside sources123
Leonard Leo is the former executive vice president of the Federalist Society, a powerful conservative and libertarian legal organization that has played a key role in shaping the federal judiciary and the Supreme Court.
Leo has helped select and promote many of the conservative judges nominated by former President Donald Trump, including three Supreme Court justices: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. Leo has also been involved in creating and funding various groups that advocate for conservative causes and influence public opinion on judicial issues45
Harlan Crow is a billionaire real estate developer and a major donor to Republican and conservative causes. Crow has been a longtime benefactor of Justice Clarence Thomas, providing him with expensive gifts, vacations, and financial assistance for his family and relatives.
Crow has also funded other groups and projects related to the Supreme Court, such as a private museum dedicated to the late Justice Antonin Scalia and a documentary film about Justice Thomas. Crow has also collected controversial items such as Nazi memorabilia and Confederate statues45
The Senate Judiciary Committee wants to question Leo and Crow about their roles and motivations in supporting and influencing the Supreme Court and its justices.
The committee also wants to obtain documents and records related to their activities and expenditures. The subpoenas are the result of months of unsuccessful attempts to obtain voluntary cooperation from Leo and Crow, who have either refused or offered insufficient information to the committee.
The subpoenas have sparked a strong reaction from Republicans, who have accused the Democrats of conducting a partisan and baseless witch hunt against the Supreme Court and its conservative justices. Some Republicans have also walked out of the committee meeting in protest of the subpoenas, calling them an abuse of power and a violation of the separation of powers.
The subpoenas are part of a broader effort by the Democrats to reform and modernize the Supreme Court, which has faced growing criticism and scrutiny for its lack of ethics rules, transparency, and accountability.
The Democrats have proposed several bills and resolutions that would impose a code of conduct, term limits, and disclosure requirements on the Supreme Court and its justices.
The Democrats have also expressed interest in expanding the size of the Supreme Court, which currently has a 6-3 conservative majority, to balance its ideological composition and restore public trust and confidence in the institution123
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