Sen. Chris Murphy Blasts Supreme Court as ‘Brazenly Corrupt and Brazenly Political’

Senator Chris Murphy accused the Supreme Court of being “brazenly corrupt and brazenly political” after reporting revealed Justice Clarence Thomas’ undisclosed lavish gifts and trips from conservative benefactors, as well as Justice Samuel Alito’s “displaying affiliation with political causes in public.”

“I think there’s a crisis on the court, in particular with respect to Justice Alito and Justice Thomas,” the Connecticut Democrat said during Sunday’s State of the Union on CNN. “What Justice Thomas is engaged in is just a grift, right? He’s got a major political player on the outside who absolutely has political and business interests at the court paying off a justice. Justice Alito is openly displaying affiliation with political causes in public.”

Murphy also defended Biden’s recent criticism of the court, saying, “I think it would be irresponsible for the president not to talk about the fact that this court is becoming brazenly corrupt and brazenly political. And it’s up to the American people this election to do something about that. It’s also up to Congress to step up and pass a code of conduct, a code of ethical conduct, for this court before it’s too late.”

Justice Thomas failed to disclose gifts from right-wing activists, including Nazi-obsessed billionaire and GOP megadonor Harlan Crowe, who showered Thomas with private jet and luxury yacht rides, expensive vacations, tuition payments for his grandson and real estate purchases. The unreported gifts were first uncovered by ProPublica, which won a Pulitzer for its reporting on the justice’s financial records.

Justice Alito was recently reported to have flown a conservative political flag similar to those carried by many Jan. 6 rioters at his New Jersey vacation home. He also displayed an upside-down American flag — a traditional sign of distress recently embraced by Trump supporters and white nationalists after the 2020 election — at his home in Fairfax County, Virginia. Alito blamed his wife for the flags being displayed on their property and recently refused to recuse himself from cases related to Jan. 6 after 40 House Democrats sent him a letter demanding he remove himself from those cases.

Both justices have recently complained about the reporting on the court’s ethics scandals. Alito lashed out against ProPublica by name in a recording made by liberal documentary maker Lauren Windsor and exclusively reported by Rolling Stone, saying that reporters “don’t like our decisions.”

“There are groups that are very well-funded by ideological groups that have spearheaded these attacks,” Alito said on the recording. “That’s what it is.”

Alito told Windsor that America needs to “return our country to a place of godliness,” adding, “One side or the other is going to win.”

Rolling Stone additionally reported remarks by the justice’s wife, Martha-Ann Alito, in conversation with Windsor. Mrs. Alito complained about liberals, the media and seeing Pride flags in her neighborhood. She fantasized about exacting revenge by flying various flags, including one she designed that has the Italian word for “shame.”

“He’s like, ‘Oh, please don’t put up a flag,’” Mrs. Alito told Windsor of her conversations with her husband. “I said, ‘I won’t do it because I am deferring to you. But when you are free of this nonsense, I’m putting it up and I’m gonna send them a message every day, maybe every week, I’ll be changing the flags.’ They’ll be all kinds. I made a flag in my head. This is how I satisfy myself. I made a flag. It’s white and has yellow and orange flames around it. And in the middle is the word ‘vergogna.’ ‘Vergogna’ in Italian means shame — vergogna. V-E-R-G-O-G-N-A. Vergogna.”

Some Democrats have pushed for implementing a check on the court. “We want a $50 gift ban for justices,” Rep. Jamie Raskin said last week. “They make $300,000 a year. Pay for your own lunch and pay for your own vacation.”

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