February 11, 2019

Duckworth, Durbin Help Introduce Legislation to Require Supreme Court Justices to Adopt Ethics Code


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) in introducing the Supreme Court Ethics Act, which would require the U.S. Supreme Court to adopt a code of ethics for Supreme Court justices. Currently, Supreme Court justices are exempt from the Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges, which all other federal judges are required to follow. The Code of Conduct is a binding code of ethics that ensures neutrality and transparency in our courts. Public confidence in the institution of the Supreme Court has declined in recent years while scrutiny of the Court has increased due in part to instances of dubious ethical behavior.

“It is irresponsible to exempt Supreme Court justices from the same ethics standards that apply to every other federal judge in this country,” said Duckworth. “This legislation will help ensure those who sit on the highest court in the land remain impartial, helping preserve the integrity of the justice system.”

“This bill would simply require Supreme Court justices to adhere to the same standard of ethics as other federally appointed judges. Passing this requirement is commonsense,” Durbin said.

The legislation is also cosponsored by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).