Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson's transparency gaps were brought up during a hearing on high court ethics reform by Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA), who asked why the Democrats didn't levy the same scrutiny against her as they did with Justice Clarence Thomas.

Kennedy's questions came during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on ethics after reports revealed Thomas failed to disclose paid trips he went on with wealthy GOP donor Harlan Crow. Democrats have called on Congress to impose ethics rules, while Republicans large

John Kennedy

(Alex Brandon/AP)

"Justice Jackson made multiple amendments three days after President Biden nominated her. Not one senator brought that up during her confirmation hearings. Not one of my colleagues here walked into her hearings with the buckets of mud that they've thrown against Justice Thomas. Not one," Kennedy said.

In September, Jackson disclosed that she had “inadvertently omitted” information about self-employed consulting income that her spouse received from consulting on medical malpractice cases. Her revisions also revealed new information about reimbursements for travel and board memberships stemming back to at least 2014, according to Bloomberg.

Senator John Kennedy perfectly sums up Democrat attacks on the legitimacy of the Supreme Court:

"My democratic colleagues should fill out a hurt feelings report and move on, for the sake of the Constitution!" (@townhallcom) May 2, 2023

Kennedy then blasted the news reports surrounding Thomas, saying that "some Democrats and their media allies" have "attempted hit pieces" on the longest-serving sitting justice and his Republican-appointed colleagues.

The Louisiana senator was referring to at least two separate reports from ProPublica that highlighted Thomas's failure to disclose travel gifts from Crow and one Georgia property transaction the donor had with the justice, though Thomas recently said he didn't report the sale because he didn't make a profit. Last week, Politico reported Justice Neil Gorsuch was the joint owner of a Colorado property he sold to a major law firm CEO.

"This is untenable," committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) said Tuesday. "Ethics cannot simply be left to the discretion of the nation's highest court. The court should have a code of conduct with clear and enforceable rules."

Durbin had called on Chief Justice John Roberts to testify for the hearing but had his request denied last week. Roberts issued a letter signed by all the justices that included "a Statement of Ethics Principles and Practices to which all of the current Members of the Supreme Court subscribe."

The high court has repeatedly maintained it consults a code of conduct followed by lower court federal judges. The main difference is that the already advisory code for lower court judges is hardly enforceable for the high court, given the limited number of nine justices, legal experts have said.

Earlier in the hearing, ranking member Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called the recent reports on the justices a "concentrated effort by the Left to delegitimize the court and to cherry-pick examples to make a point." › news › 2023 › 04 › clarence-thomas-ethics-violations-supreme-court

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