News Release

John Roberts Has “Failed to Protect the Integrity of the Supreme Court”


LISA GRAVES, via Becky Timmons, @itstruenorth
Graves is executive director of the watchdog group True North Research. They just released a statement on how John Roberts has failed to protect the integrity of the Supreme Court.

The group notes that Tuesday, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the need for clear and enforceable ethical rules for the U.S. Supreme Court. This hearing was spurred by in-depth news stories revealing numerous failures by members of the Supreme Court to comply with even minimal rules for disclosure and other ethics standards.

Graves — who oversaw reviews of the financial disclosures of federal judges as a senior advisor in all three branches of government — said: “As Chief Justice, John Roberts’ most important role is to protect the integrity of the judicial branch, but by almost any standard, he has profoundly failed to protect the integrity of our highest court when the ethics of his colleagues have been called into question by their conduct.”

She continued, noting that “For years, Roberts has failed to investigate documented evidence” that Clarence Thomas was “not disclosing private jet and yacht trips and other gifts from a billionaire, but when a draft opinion leaked, Roberts sprang into action, announcing a probing investigation. In refusing to appear at this hearing, he attached a note that each justice contends they themselves are complying with ‘financial disclosure requirements and limitations on gifts’ — despite the manifest evidence that is not true.

“Was Roberts one of the people who advised Thomas he didn’t have to disclose gifts of luxury travel?

“This is one of the many questions that needs to be answered.

“These are not complicated requirements, and I know that because I previously helped lead the part of the judicial branch that oversees the Financial Disclosure Office, in addition to serving as a leading staffer in the Justice Department and the Senate on judicial issues. I have reviewed hundreds of financial disclosure forms of judges and judicial candidates, which are usually filled out by their secretaries and accountants and then reviewed for accuracy and signed by the judges themselves. The language of these forms and the illustrative examples in the instructions are easy to follow.”