Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

senate Bill S. 1072

A Code of Ethics for the Supreme Court

Argument in favor

Members of the Court have proven with unethical and non-biased behavior in recent years that they need a code of ethics to be held accountable to.

···
07/03/2015
The current justices seem to view themselves as the law of the land, not merely those who review the Constitution. This has proven to be a necessity to regulate a system that is currently growing increasingly too powerful.
Like (46)
Follow
Share
Curmudgeon's Opinion
···
07/02/2015
We have allowed some justices who do not believe in the Constitution or Law to be seated. They arrived with self held agendas like the political plants they were. That has changed the purpose of the court, destroying the system of checks and balances. Yet the politicization of the courts is held to be even a desirable end by the currently elected crop of politicians and is unlikely to change without new, and honest public servants.
Like (28)
Follow
Share
Sabra18's Opinion
···
07/01/2015
The court's job is not to legislate- the current justices have lost sight of their responsibilities
Like (18)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

Introducing a code of ethics for the Supreme Court would be an empty gesture at best — there's no real way to enforce compliance.

John's Opinion
···
06/26/2015
Should already by in place for all branches of government...
Like (21)
Follow
Share
Alis's Opinion
···
06/30/2015
Can't we trust the system the Founding Fathers set up? Even when we don't like their decisions?!
Like (9)
Follow
Share
Stormcrow's Opinion
···
07/23/2015
we have a code of ethics already! Its called the constitution. If anything, force them to follow it to the letter.
Like (5)
Follow
Share

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedApril 23rd, 2015

What is Senate Bill S. 1072?

This bill would subject the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States to the Code of Conduct for United States Judges in hopes of keeping them "mindful of their preeminence in the Federal judiciary." 

The Code is a procedural set of standards used by all other federal courts save for the Supreme Court. They include five cannons that state judges should:
  1. Uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary — basically requiring judges to stay independent and unbiased, while following the law;
  2. Avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities;
  3. Perform the duties of the office fairly, impartially and diligently;
  4. Engage in extrajudicial activities that are consistent with the obligations of judicial office;
  5. Refrain from political activity — Judges cannot endorse candidates for office, speak publicly for political organizations or fundraise for political parties.
Supreme Court justices would have 180 days to adopt a code of ethics with the five canons above, with any amendments or modifications they feel are necessary. 

Impact

Public opinion of the members of the Supreme Court of the United States, and the U.S. Supreme Court justices themselves.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 1072

A CBO cost is unavailable.

More Information

In Depth: Sponsoring Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) said of his bill

“There is absolutely no reason why Supreme Court Justices shouldn’t be subject to the same code of conduct as all other federal judges. The American people deserve to know that our highest court is held to the highest ethical standards.”

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), the sponsor of the House version of this legislation noted in a commentary piece for Roll Call why she believes a code of ethics is necessary:

"This code would disallow participation in political and fundraising activities such as the invitation-only political retreat put on by the Koch brothers that was attended by Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, where the explicit goal was to “change the balance of power in Congress,” or the $25,000-a-plate fundraising dinner for the conservative American Spectator magazine attended by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr."

Of Note: As of April 2015, over 130,000 people signed a petition asking Chief Justice John Roberts to adopt a code of conduct for the Supreme Court. For those who think this bill is a waste of time, the argument is two-fold. The first is that there is no concrete way to hold justices to a code of ethics that they swear to — not under current law, and not in this bill. The other is that the Supreme Court is fundamentally different from lower courts — exempting the high court from a code of conduct. The latter is a position Chief Justice Roberts took in a one page letter to Democratic members of Congress in 2012 noting that justices already follow the code and Congress trying to force the judicial branch to do anything raises separation-of-powers issues.


Media:

Summary by Jenny Simeone 
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Stephen Masker

AKA

Supreme Court Ethics Act of 2015

Official Title

A bill to require the Supreme Court of the United States to promulgate a code of ethics.

    The current justices seem to view themselves as the law of the land, not merely those who review the Constitution. This has proven to be a necessity to regulate a system that is currently growing increasingly too powerful.
    Like (46)
    Follow
    Share
    Should already by in place for all branches of government...
    Like (21)
    Follow
    Share
    We have allowed some justices who do not believe in the Constitution or Law to be seated. They arrived with self held agendas like the political plants they were. That has changed the purpose of the court, destroying the system of checks and balances. Yet the politicization of the courts is held to be even a desirable end by the currently elected crop of politicians and is unlikely to change without new, and honest public servants.
    Like (28)
    Follow
    Share
    The court's job is not to legislate- the current justices have lost sight of their responsibilities
    Like (18)
    Follow
    Share
    Can't we trust the system the Founding Fathers set up? Even when we don't like their decisions?!
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    we have a code of ethics already! Its called the constitution. If anything, force them to follow it to the letter.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    The justices of this court should forward the best interests of the people of this country and our country's laws, not their own beliefs and the interests of those with money.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    Why "No"? I do NOT like the LEGISLATING that justices on the SCOTUS do, in applying their personal political views to decisions that should be based on what the U.S. Constitution states. I do NOT like the justices on the SCOTUS "interpreting" the words from that document, as if we outside the Beltway cannot read the English presented in it. I do NOT like justices on the SCOTUS assuming they can read the minds of this country's Founding Fathers, men dead for about 2 centuries. However, who in Congress should deem unethical any behavior by the justices when both the Senate and the House are full of unethical politicians who will lie, cheat, and steal to maintain their overly-paying and overly-powerful positions; who force upon us through inane and punitive laws that oppress us, while exempting themselves from such legislation; who demand more of OUR money to support their anti-U.S. and anti-citizen rules and regulations; and who simply do not care about us, the people they are elected to represent? This proposed bill is typical of a liberal politician who points his finger at others. Look around and start applying "ethics" to yourselves first!
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    This is a good idea but I'm afraid it's unenforceable without creating other major problems
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    Boggles my mind that this is not already in place and operational, Surely the US Supreme Court should operate at the same or a higher level of propriety than any standard to which the rest of the Federal judiciary is held. Recent behavior by some justices has tainted the Court in my mind and while it may only have been improper and biased in appearance, that is indeed something that ought to be avoided at all costs.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    This is a typical feel god bill that would accomplish nothing. This is total eyewash and diverts our attention from the danger of judicial activism.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    The SCOTUS and the rest of the federal government should be held to one standard: Uphold the Constitution of the United States of America as it was written, not for the way some think the writers may have possibly thought.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    Should be applicable to all branches, but this won't harm anyone and it will provide accountability when such events occur
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes but who do we put in control of overseeing that?
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    A NO BRAINER ! ! WHY SHOULD THESE NINE NOT BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE LIKE THE REST OF THE USA ! ? THEY MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE, BE OPEN, FAIR AND FREE FROM BIG $$ LIKE THE KOCH BROTHERS, MONSANTO, ET AL.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    The Supreme Court stands to limit the powers of congress and the presidency role. Increasing limitations on its capabilities will reduce this system of checks and balances.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    The real question is if the Supreme Court is upholding the Constitution. I, personally, could care less of someone's beliefs as long as they perform at a level of excellence in their position. The real issue is creation of a removal process that could be set forth by congress and/or decided by public vote for "Unconstitutional Behavior." This bill is a good idea but I don't see a foreseeable way to enforce abiding by those ethics.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    All justices should be held to a code of ethics. Especially the highest court in the country!!
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    ignorer to maintain the value of being a citizen of the USA, we must prudently move forward; maintaining our cherished values.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    I believe that the Supreme Court justice should only be influenced based off the constitution and not party lines. This bill won't solve it, but be a step in the right direction
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE