Washington, DC – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Courts Subcommittee, today released episode five of his podcast, Making the Case. In the new episode, Whitehouse is joined by Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA), Fix the Court Executive Director Gabe Roth, and Campaign Legal Center Senior Director of Ethics Kedric Payne to break down the Supreme Court’s self-inflicted ethics crisis and discuss ways to strengthen ethical guardrails at the Court. The guests walk through some of the worst ethics crises facing the Court, how the Supreme Court’s conduct compares to what’s allowed in other branches of government, and the legislative role Congress can play to clean up this mess.
“The American people’s confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the Supreme Court is in freefall, in part because of ethical lapses by the justices that we’ve learned about through investigative reporting,” said Whitehouse. “There are plenty of ethics problems in need of repair at the Court – bogus gifts of ‘personal hospitality,’ obvious conflicts of interest, phony front-group amici – and the Roberts Court has not been able to clean up its own mess. My Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act is a comprehensive solution to these problems.”
Whitehouse has long been the Senate’s leading voice for improving transparency and accountability at the Supreme Court, delivering a series of speeches on the Senate floor about the special interest scheme to remake the judicial branch.
Whitehouse is working to pass the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act, which is scheduled for mark up by the Senate Judiciary Committee this Thursday, June 20. The bill would require Supreme Court justices to adopt a code of conduct, create a mechanism to investigate alleged violations of the code of conduct and other laws, improve disclosure and transparency when a justice has a connection to a party or amicus before the Court, and require justices to explain their recusal decisions to the public. The Senator has also led legislation to create term limits at the Court.
Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921