Lindsey Graham Says Democrats Are Trying To ‘Destroy’ Conservative Supreme Court Justices

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Democrats were trying to “destroy” conservative members of the Supreme Court after some lawmakers recently tried to pass a bill meant to address ongoing ethics concerns surrounding several justices.

Senate Republicans, Graham included, blocked legislation earlier this month that could have required Supreme Court justices to adopt a binding code of conduct and establish a means to file ethics complaints against them. The effort came amid a series of reports into Justice Clarence Thomas and his acceptance of lavish gifts from a billionaire friend, as well as recent accounts of flags affiliated with Jan. 6 protesters that were hung outside homes owned by Justice Samuel Alito.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have pointed to the twin controversies as evidence that stricter rules should be applied to the court. But Graham attacked those efforts in an interview with Fox News on Sunday and alluded Democrats were worried about several major ruling set to come down from the court, including one on former President Donald Trump’s claims of absolute presidential immunity.

“The worst thing that could happen is for the United States Senate and the House to determine what cases the Supreme Court hears,” Graham said on “Fox News Sunday.” He went on to say Democrats were attempting to “micromanage the Roberts court.”

“They’re trying to destroy Alito and Thomas because they don’t like the fact they’re conservative judges,” the senator added.

Graham had previously assailed the bill as an attempt to undermine the court, calling the effort an “unconstitutional overreach.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) rejected those calls on the chamber floor earlier this month, saying it was in the country’s best interest for the court to adhere to ethics rules.

“Our faith in the character and impartiality of our judges is essential to the functioning of our legal system and our constitutional form of government,” Durbin said in a speech. “But that faith requires judges, especially Supreme Court justices, to conduct themselves in a way that inspires public confidence.”

On Sunday, Graham said Democrats were livid with the court and claimed Trump had changed the body for the better during his tenure in the White House. The court now holds six conservative and three liberal members.

“They’re squealing like stuck pigs because the Supreme Court no longer is a political body,” Graham said. “It is actually looking at the Constitution and making constitutionally sound decisions versus political decisions. That’s the problem liberals have with the court.”

Chief Justice John Roberts said the court would adopt a code of conduct last November. But critics lambasted the policy as it is not binding and the justices are responsible for enforcing it themselves.

The chief justice recently rejected calls, however, to discuss the Alito flag scandal with lawmakers, citing “separation of powers concerns and the importance of preserving judicial independence counsel against such appearances.”