On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Supreme Court ethics reform, which Democrats used to pressure Republican-controlled Senate committees to propose better ethics regulations for the Supreme Court. Lawmakers have introduced a series of bills aimed at increasing ethics safeguards and transparency in the higher court, but any legislation faces huge doubt from Republicans. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, urged the court to take this moment to instil more public confidence, while Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, a previous chair of the panel, dismissed the hearing as “political theater” and “relentless political battering.” Although Chief Justice John Roberts declined Senator Durbin’s invitation to attend the hearing, it was evident from the hearing that Democrats are attempting to apply more public pressure to encourage justices to address conflicts of interest. The hearing also indicated that there is a tough environment for passing any related legislature. Congress stepping in to enforce ethical guidelines on the Supreme Court raises separation-of-powers questions. Witnesses invited by Democrats to the hearing said Congress has broad authority to regulate ethics at the high court, while those invited by Republicans said such moves would intrude on the court’s independence.

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By hassani

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