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Democratic Retreat: Harlan Crow Subpoenas Vote Stalled Amid GOP Warning of Potential 'S**t Show'

"Senate Democrats Halt Harlan Crow Subpoena Vote Amidst GOP Obstruction Threats"

In a surprising turn of events on Thursday, Senate Democrats abruptly canceled a scheduled vote to subpoena Republican Texas billionaire Harlan Crow and conservative judicial activist Leonard Leo. The move came in response to a last-minute maneuver by Republicans to stall the proceedings, with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) warning of a potential "complete shit show" if the vote proceeded as planned.

The Democrats intended to pursue the testimonies of Crow and Leo as part of an ethics probe into their relationships with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. However, Republicans countered with 88 GOP amendments covering a range of issues, from court-related matters to unrelated topics like immigration and even the late financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Among the amendments were calls to subpoena liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor and her clerks, journalists at ProPublica who reported on ethical breaches by Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito, as well as seeking GPS location coordinates for President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden's cell phones. The committee was also asked to subpoena Epstein's private jet flight records.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the committee chairman, acknowledged the intention to hold the vote again but cited scheduling issues that prevented the completion of the markup on Thursday. He emphasized the committee's commitment to pursuing subpoenas in the near future, underscoring the importance of maintaining ethical standards within the highest court.

The subpoenas of Crow and Leo are integral to the committee's investigation into the Supreme Court's alleged failure to adhere to a judicial code of ethics. Democrats contend that Crow did not adequately cooperate with the committee regarding his relationship with Justice Thomas, pointing to lavish gifts, including a real estate deal, luxury vacations, and private school tuition, provided to the justice by Crow over several decades.

"Durbin Pushes for Supreme Court Ethics Amidst Subpoena Controversy"

Senator Dick Durbin has underscored the necessity of an inquiry into Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, emphasizing the need for legislation that establishes a "binding code of conduct" for the highest court. Durbin argues that the Supreme Court is facing an "ethical crisis" that warrants a closer examination of relationships between justices and external figures.

Harlan Crow, a Texas billionaire, dismissed the inquiry as a political ploy, denouncing it as "nothing more than a stunt aimed at undermining a sitting Supreme Court justice for ideological and political purposes." Despite Crow's resistance, the Senate Judiciary Committee had planned to authorize a subpoena for him.

Leonard Leo, a conservative judicial activist, was also a target for a subpoena, with reports suggesting his involvement in organizing a luxury fishing vacation for Justice Samuel Alito in 2008. Senator Durbin, before the vote delay, emphasized that the effort was not motivated by a vendetta against conservatives but rather a commitment to investigating the court's failure to adopt a binding code of ethics.

Durbin proposed a straightforward resolution to the matter, urging the Supreme Court to adopt an ethics code promptly. He asserted that the power to address this issue lies within the hands of Chief Justice and the associate justices, emphasizing that a solution could be achieved swiftly.

In a positive turn, GOP donor Robin Arkley II, initially slated for a subpoena, provided sufficient information to the committee, rendering the additional subpoena unnecessary. Durbin announced this development, indicating a willingness to collaborate with those who proactively engage with the committee's requests.

In conclusion, the Senate Judiciary Committee's attempt to subpoena figures like Harlan Crow and Leonard Leo in the investigation into Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has been met with both resistance and urgency. Senator Dick Durbin, advocating for a binding code of conduct for the Supreme Court, stresses the need to address what he perceives as an "ethical crisis" within the highest court.

Harlan Crow dismisses the inquiry as a political maneuver, while Leonard Leo's reported involvement in organizing a luxury vacation for Justice Samuel Alito adds complexity to the situation. Despite the delay in the subpoena vote, Durbin asserts that this effort is not a vendetta against conservatives but a crucial step in scrutinizing the court's adherence to ethical standards.

Durbin proposes a straightforward solution — urging the Supreme Court to adopt an ethics code promptly. He emphasizes that the power to resolve the issue lies within the hands of the Chief Justice and associate justices, highlighting the potential for a swift resolution.

Notably, GOP donor Robin Arkley II's cooperation obviates the need for an additional subpoena, showcasing a collaborative approach when individuals willingly engage with the committee's requests. As the situation unfolds, the debate over ethics within the Supreme Court underscores broader concerns about transparency and accountability in the judiciary.