Mitch McConnell blindsided Senate Democrats with an unexpected announcement

mitch mcconnell

McConnell has said he will retire in 2027. But now he’s shaking things up with a major surprise.

And Mitch McConnell blindsided Senate Democrats with an unexpected announcement.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested Wednesday that the Supreme Court may punish Senate Democrats who have advocated for the recusal of several conservative justices.

According to the Kentucky Republican, three senators have petitioned Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. to remove Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. from cases involving the Jan. 6, 2021, incident in the United States Capitol.

At least one Democratic senator proposed that the chief justice not assign Justice Alito or Justice Clarence Thomas to write specific majority decisions, Mr. McConnell continued.

The Senate Democrats requested a meeting with Chief Justice Roberts, but he denied, citing the fact that meeting with one political party while the Supreme Court is issuing opinions would be unethical.

Mr. McConnell singled out Democratic Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut for serving on the Supreme Court bar and participating in unethical legal behavior.

“These senators are telling the Chief Justice, privately, to change the course of pending litigation. This is known as ex parte communication and it is frowned upon by the ABA’s [Rules of Professional Conduct],” Mr. McConnell said on the chamber floor.

“This matters because at least two of these colleagues of ours, the junior senator from Rhode Island and the senior senator from Connecticut, seem to be members of the Supreme Court Bar. If so, they are, therefore, potentially engaged in unethical professional conduct before the Court.”

He stated that while senators can act in certain ways as politicians, lawyers are bound by the laws of the court.

“They are officers of the court and bound by a different set of rules than a mere senator. These rules provide for discipline against those who engage in ‘conduct unbecoming’ an officer of the court,” Mr. McConnell said.

“The Court should take any remedial action it feels to be appropriate,” Mr. McConnell said.

The high court has the “power to police the ethical practice of law among the members of its Bar,” he noted.

The remarks come after Democrats recently called on Justice Alito to disqualify himself from cases involving the U.S. Capitol riot over an upside-down American flag flown outside his Alexandria, Virginia, home days after the violent demonstration.

He was also chastised for displaying a “Appeal to Heaven” banner outside his New Jersey home in 2023. On January 6, 2021, some rioters at the Capitol waved the same banner.

Justice Alito stated that the flags were chosen by his wife and that he is neutral in any argument.

“My wife is fond of flying flags. I am not. My wife was solely responsible for having flagpoles put up at our residence and our vacation home and has flown a wide variety of flags over the years,” he said in his letter to top Democrats on Capitol Hill.

“My wife is an independently-minded private citizen. She makes her own decisions, and I honor her right to do so,” he added.

“A reasonable person who is not motivated by political or ideological considerations or a desire to affect the outcome of Supreme Court cases would conclude that this event does not meet the applicable standard for recusal. I am therefore duty bound to reject your recusal request.”

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