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Crapo, Risch Join Colleagues Urging Supreme Court Judicial Independence

Washington, D.C. -- Idaho’s U.S. Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch joined a group of Senate colleagues in sending a letter to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) urging it to maintain an independent level of judicial jurisprudence.  The letter is in response to recent political threats to restructure the Court. 

“We therefore ask that the Justices fulfill their oaths to ‘faithfully and impartially’ follow the law,” the letter reads.  “They should rule in this case only as the law dictates, without regard to the identity of the parties or the politics of the moment.  They must not be cowed by the threats of opportunistic politicians.  Our constitutional republic depends on an independent judiciary ruling impartially on the basis of what the law says.  We ask that the Justices stand firm and do their part to protect our “government of laws, not of men.” 

Senator Crapo added, “The Supreme Court plays a vital role in safeguarding the United State Constitution.  For more than 150 years, the Court’s nine members have conducted their duties in a nonpartisan manner to protect and uphold the integrity of our system of government.  Threats by other members of this body to intimidate the Supreme Court into capitulation of its constitutionally-mandated duties goes against every value of judicial independence our country has long held.  I urge the Justices to fulfill their oaths of following the law, not only with regards to this case, but all cases that will continue to come before it.”  

Senator Risch added, “Judicial independence is crucial to the health of our democracy, and this ultimatum issued by my Democrat colleagues – rule in our favor or else we’ll pack the Court – is ludicrous and dangerous.  I urge my colleagues to cease this blatant attempt to bully the Supreme Court into submission and allow it to fulfill its role as a check and balance to the legislative and executive branches – just as our Founding Fathers intended.” 

On August 12, 2019, five Democratic members of the U.S. Senate filed an amicus brief in New York State Pistol & Rifle Association v. City of New York.  The brief issued demands of ‘restructuring’ if the Court does not act within the scope of the writers’ suggested course of decision-making, stating, “The Supreme Court is not well.  And the people know it.” 

In addition to Crapo and Risch, 50 additional members of the U.S. Senate joined Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) in sending the letter.  The full letter is available HERE.