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Senate Judiciary chief plans new push for Supreme Court ethics subpoenas

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Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin plans to take up subpoenas for conservative judicial activist Leonard Leo and Texas billionaire Harlan Crow during the panel’s Thursday morning meeting.

“That’s the plan,” Durbin told reporters on Tuesday.

Durbin had said on Monday that there is “no evidence” either of the targets of the subpoenas are cooperating with the panel’s inquiry into financial and social ties influencing Supreme Court justices.

The committee is seeking documents and information related to its ongoing investigation into ethics at the high court, including the potential conflicts of interest posed by undisclosed gifts and other personal ties that justices maintain with activists and donors.

Durbin abruptly ended a meeting earlier this month before senators could try to vote on the two subpoenas. Republicans had filed dozens of amendments proposing to subpoena scores of people associated with the Biden administration and others in a bid to draw out the debate.

Some of those Republican proposals could be on the table Thursday, Durbin said: “We’re going to take a look at each one and decide whether it’s germane and proceed from there.”

Debate and votes on a significant number of amendments could delay a vote into the afternoon or evening. The Senate is scheduled to be in on Friday, but typically finishes up business by early Thursday afternoon.

Burgess Everett contributed.