Supreme Court justices have adopted a Code of Conduct following criticism from Senate Democrats, who argue that the ethical code is inadequate and are pushing for a congressional code that would diminish the Supreme Court’s independence.
The code aims to dispel the misunderstanding that justices are unrestricted by ethics rules and outlines principles for judicial conduct, including recusal in cases where impartiality may be questioned.
“A Justice should respect and comply with the law and act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary,” Canon 2 reads. (Trending: Court Hands Down Crucial 2nd Amendment Ruling)
“A Justice should not allow family, social, political, financial, or other relationships to influence official conduct or judgment.”
“A Justice is presumed impartial and has an obligation to sit unless disqualified” from a case, according to Canon 3(b).
“A Justice should disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the Justice’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned, that is, where an unbiased and reasonable person who is aware of all relevant circumstances would doubt that the Justice could fairly discharge his or her duties.”
Democrats are skeptical of the code and have argued that it allows the justices to police themselves.
“I doubt this Code will satisfy Senate Democrats and their liberal dark-money backers,” stated Carrie Severino, president of the Judicial Crisis Network, “as their campaign has never really been about ethics but rather intimidating a Court that it despises for being faithful to the Constitution.”
Additionally, they have highlighted the constitutional distinction between the Supreme Court and lower federal courts, suggesting that Congress has a major constitutional hook regarding the latter.
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