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Thread: Supreme Court justices don't have a code of ethics. Hundreds of judges say that's a p

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    Supreme Court justices don't have a code of ethics. Hundreds of judges say that's a p

    I have mentioned this before.

    Supreme Court justices don't have a code of ethics. Hundreds of judges say that's a problem

    Hundreds of judges across the United States said U.S. Supreme Court justices should be bound by a code of ethics – and many said they were shocked to find out that wasn't already the case.







    The National Judicial College surveyed judges across the nation on whether the Supreme Court should be held to a higher standard. The survey came amid a contentious and high-profile U.S. Supreme Court calendar that has involved questions of bias, as well as investigations into Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' family ties to the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

    ***

    Of the 24 judges who voted no, two added in comments that they assumed that the justices as lawyers would be bound by ethics required of them as attorneys. But according to the U.S. constitution, a justice does not have to be a lawyer or attend law school to become a Supreme Court justice.


    One judge who voted "no," said, "The constitution alone should set the parameters" and another said "Hands off the SCOTUS. There are some things that we shouldn't even entertain." Multiple others felt like enforcement would be the greater issue.


    Many of the judges were unaware that Supreme Court justices were not bound by any code of ethics – despite being bound by one if in the judiciary prior – and were surprised to learn otherwise.


    Judge Michael Mery of the 144th Judicial District Court in Bexar County, Texas, said he thought the question initially was an esoteric exercise but said he was "highly, highly shocked" to learn U.S. Supreme Court justices aren't bound by an official ethics code other than what they might voluntarily adhere to. He said he's spent his career ensuring he doesn't even create an appearance of impropriety, which can stand in the way of achieving justice.

    ***

    There are several federal statutes that do apply ethical requirements to justices of the Supreme Court, including one that requires recusal from certain cases where a judge or justice "has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party" or a "financial interest." Still, there is no real enforcement mechanism beyond self-policing and the more extreme measure of Congress moving for impeachment and removal of a justice, which is unlikely given partisan gridlock. Only one justice has ever been impeached by the House, and he was acquitted by the Senate in 1805.


    Congress has also directed justices to provide financial disclosures like other federal officials, though there have been multiple instances when a justice failed to do so. For example, in 2016, Justice Sonia Sotomayor omitted from her disclosure that a public university paid for as many as 11 rooms for her in a fancy hotel.


    But not everyone said the court should be held to task for ethical lapses.




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    If a Supreme Court Justice engages in ethics or criminal violations, Congress can take action and impeach him. They did it with Samuel chase in 1804, although he was acquitted by the Senate.
    “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue.” - Barry Goldwater

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    It sounds to me like just another ploy to attack conservative judges on the Court. Where were the ethical objections when RBG hung onto the job far longer than she was clearly capable because she wanted to avoid President Trump replacing her?
    "Empires do not suffer emptiness of purpose at the time of their creation. It is when they have become established that aims are lost and replaced by vague ritual" - DUNE Messiah by Frank Herbert

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