Politics Warren, Jayapal demand answers on reported judicial ethics violations
The AP Interview: Jayapal pushes Biden for $3T spending bill
WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, says she has pushed President Joe Biden to hold the line and keep his ambitious social spending plan closer to $3 trillion instead of the $2 trillion range that he has floated to Democrats in recent days. Jayapal told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday that she had told Biden that his suggestion for compromise was “too low, and I said that I would really like to be closer to three.” The original amount for the package of Democratic initiatives, including expanded child care, health care, education and environmental programs, was $3.5 trillion.
A pair of progressive Democratic lawmakers on Thursday demanded answers from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts following a Wall Street Journal article that found more than a hundred federal judges oversaw cases involving companies in which they held a financial stake.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) sent a letter to Roberts, who as chief justice also presides over the Judicial Conference of the United States, asking is being addressed.
"These actions raise questions about the judgment and integrity of these individuals and will justifiably reduce public confidence in the justice system," the lawmakers wrote. "Likewise, they raise questions about whether you have done enough in your role as the presiding officer of the Judicial Conference of the United States to establish and enforce ethics rules and uphold the integrity of the federal judiciary."
Pramila Jayapal faces key choice: Bargain or dig in
The House's progressive leader is willing to bargain on the massive social policy bill. But she is willing to go only so far.Less than 24 hours after saying most House Democrats wanted to do "fewer things well," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shifted her message on Tuesday, saying she hoped they wouldn't have to drop any proposed programs as they try to shrink the size of their $3.5 trillion social policy bill and would instead seek to limit the time frame of the provisions to cut its cost.
The Supreme Court's public information office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The published late last month said 131 judges appear to have violated federal law prohibiting them from hearing cases in which they have a financial interest in one of the parties.
Using data encompassing cases from 2010 to 2020, the newspaper reported that two-thirds of the decisions from those cases benefited the party in which the judge held stock.
Jayapal and Warren have introduced legislation to overhaul the judiciary's ethics requirements, including a ban on judges holding individual stocks. But in Thursday's letter they pushed Roberts to take action now.
"While Congress should act swiftly to pass these reforms, a decisive response from the judiciary is urgent and necessary," the lawmakers wrote. "As the presiding officer of the Judicial Conference of the United States, you are responsible for the policies and administration of the federal courts."
They included a list of questions seeking details on how Roberts intends to respond to the findings and seeking a commitment that he and the other justices will recuse themselves in cases where they have a direct financial interest.
Jayapal and Warren asked Roberts to respond by Oct. 28.
New York Ethics Commission to Investigate How Andrew Cuomo's $5.1M Book Deal Got Approved .
The ethics panel voted earlier this month to allow the former New York governor to keep the money made from his memoir. The commission's vote Tuesday to investigate its own approval of Cuomo's book deal comes after the Times Union reported that New York Attorney General Letitia James issued a subpoena to the ethics agency for all records on the deal. The attorney general's criminal investigation was launched in April following a referral from Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.