On Sunday (April 30), Republican Senator Ted Cruz argued that the scrutiny of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ financial records is a “political smear” as lawmakers seek to strengthen the court’s ethical standards.
Speaking on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” said that lawmakers were “not looking at other judges,” suggesting that the scrutiny of Thomas’ financial records was a “political smear” because the conservative Supreme Court Justice is an “extraordinary constitutional.”
The Texas Senator said he thinks Democrats are pursuing Thomas because they believe an “African-American is not allowed to be a conservative.”
According to recent reports from ProPublica, Thomas failed to disclose several luxury trips paid for by Texas billionaire and GOP donor Harlan Crow, and the court also failed to disclose a 2014 real estate deal he had with the same Republican megadonor.
Thomas later explained that he had been “advised” that he did not need to disclose the trips.
Crow also shared that he believes the attacks against Thomas are political.
ProPublica’s reporting also has sparked a renewed debate about ethical standards for lifetime judges and possible reforms to the nation’s highest court.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill) invited Chief Justice John Roberts to appear before Congress on the issue, but Roberts declined the invitation.
Several Democratic lawmakers called on Thomas to resign.
Polls earlier this year showed fewer than half of Americans approve how the court does its job — and results earlier this month showed a majority support disclosure requirements and ethics rules for Supreme Court Justices.