In a significant move, Sen. Lindsey Graham, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has announced his intention to obstruct a Senate Democrats’ effort to pass a Supreme Court ethics bill via unanimous consent. “I will object,” Graham told NBC News, effectively halting the bill’s progress since any senator can block such a request.

The Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act, which the Judiciary Committee had advanced nearly a year ago on a party-line vote, remains in limbo. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who chairs the committee, had earlier indicated he would seek unanimous consent for the bill on Wednesday. However, without Graham’s support and lacking the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster, the bill faces significant hurdles.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., expressed uncertainty about whether the measure would proceed to a normal vote but indicated he is considering it. Despite Democratic efforts, the likelihood of advancing the legislation remains slim. Durbin acknowledged this reality, stating, “I think I know the outcome, but we’re going to go through the exercise to make sure that both parties are in the record.”

The proposed legislation arose in response to a series of ethical controversies involving Supreme Court justices. Democrats argue that recent “ethical lapses” underscore the need for such reforms. The bill mandates the Supreme Court to adopt and publish a code of conduct within 180 days, introduces new rules for disclosing gifts and travel, and requires justices to publicly explain decisions to recuse themselves from cases.

One high-profile incident fueling the call for reform involved Justice Clarence Thomas. His 2019 trips with billionaire Harlan Crow to Bali and the Bohemian Grove in California, revealed in his annual financial disclosures, sparked scrutiny. ProPublica had previously reported on these undisclosed lavish travels, raising questions about the court’s ethical standards.

Moreover, Durbin had recently called on Justice Samuel Alito to recuse himself from cases related to the January 6 Capitol riot. This call followed a New York Times report highlighting an upside-down American flag outside Alito’s home post-riot. Alito, however, chose not to step aside from those cases.

A spokesperson for the Supreme Court did not immediately respond to requests for comment regarding the ethics bill or the recent controversies involving the justices.

Despite the pressing need for ethics reform, the path forward for the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act remains uncertain, with partisan divisions continuing to stall legislative progress.