November 13, 2023

Whitehouse Statement on Supreme Court Releasing a Code of Conduct

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Courts Subcommittee, today released the following statement after the Supreme Court announced the adoption of a Code of Conduct for the justices:

“This is a long-overdue step by the justices, but a code of ethics is not binding unless there is a mechanism to investigate possible violations and enforce the rules.  The honor system has not worked for members of the Roberts Court.  My ethics bill would create a transparent process for complaints and allow a panel of chief judges from the lower courts to investigate and make recommendations based on those complaints.” 

In addition to requiring Supreme Court justices to adopt an enforceable code of conduct, Whitehouse’s Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency (SCERT) Act would 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 legislation was approved by the Judiciary Committee in July.

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Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921

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