Saturday, April 29, 2023

Lever: Roberts Memo Threatened To Challenge Ethics Rules

A decade before Chief Justice John Roberts rejected a Senate request this week to testify about corruption scandals engulfing the Supreme Court, he threatened to challenge a congressional effort to ensure the high court’s justices abide by federal corruption laws, according to documents reviewed by The Lever.

Now, instead of spearheading an investigation into Justice Clarence Thomas’ undisclosed luxury gifts and real estate transactions, Roberts is punting to a little-known panel of lower court judges whose identities are secret, according to a spokesperson for the judiciary.

Roberts’ posture spotlights a crisis in America’s system of checks and balances: If the legislative and executive branches refuse to assert oversight authority over the nation’s highest court, Supreme Court justices can continue to operate with complete impunity.

Business InsiderJane Roberts, who is married to Chief Justice John Roberts, made $10.3 million in commissions from elite law firms, whistleblower documents show

Two years after John Roberts' confirmation as the Supreme Court's chief justice in 2005, his wife, Jane Sullivan Roberts, made a pivot. After a long and distinguished career as a lawyer, she refashioned herself as a legal recruiter, a matchmaker who pairs job-hunting lawyers up with corporations and firms.

Roberts told a friend that the change was motivated by a desire to avoid the appearance of conflicts of interest, given that her husband was now the highest-ranking judge in the country. "There are many paths to the good life," she said. "There are so many things to do if you're open to change and opportunity."

And life was indeed good for the Robertses, at least for the years 2007 to 2014. During that eight-year stretch, according to internal records from her employer, Jane Roberts generated a whopping $10.3 million in commissions, paid out by corporations and law firms for placing high-dollar lawyers with them.

That eye-popping figure comes from records in a whistleblower complaint filed by a disgruntled former colleague of Roberts, who says that as the spouse of the most powerful judge in the United States, the income she earns from law firms who practice before the Court should be subject to public scrutiny.

John Roberts is an institutionalist. He's with Leiter, but the institutions are different: the court, the church, the academy, Israel.

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