Supreme Court Issues Code of Conduct to Clarify Ethics Rules

Ashley Goodwin / U.S. Army National Guard

(WNY News Now) – In a move aimed at clarifying ethical standards, the Supreme Court of the United States has released a comprehensive Code of Conduct outlining principles that have long governed the conduct of its members.

Washington D.C. – In a statement the Supreme Court of the United States revealed that the Justices have collectively promulgated a Code of Conduct to succinctly articulate and consolidate the ethics rules guiding their conduct. The newly issued Code serves to address the perception that the Justices, unlike their counterparts in the federal judiciary, operate without specific ethical guidelines.

The statement emphasizes that many of the rules and principles outlined in the Code are not novel but rather a codification of existing standards derived from various sources. These sources include statutory provisions, codes applicable to other federal judiciary members, ethics advisory opinions from the Judicial Conference Committee on Codes of Conduct, and historical practices.

The absence of a formalized Code in recent years has contributed to a belief that the Justices considered themselves exempt from ethical constraints. The Code’s lack of an enforcement mechanism fails to rectify this perception and make clear that the Supreme Court Justices adhere to ethical guidelines similar to those governing other jurists in the country. The Code of Conduct relies solely upon the honor system of each Justice which combined with the lack of any enforcement mechanism many people have already asked what enforceable policies have changed?

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