CLC Urges Chief Justice Roberts to Address Unethical SCOTUS Conduct
Washington, D.C. – This morning, Campaign Legal Center sent a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts urging him to address allegations of unethical conduct related to the U.S. Supreme Court in the 2022 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary.
Specifically, the letter asks Chief Justice Roberts to establish a formal procedure for investigating ethical misconduct and adopt a binding code of conduct for the Justices. Public scrutiny of the Justices’ behavior has raised unanswered questions about substantial alleged misconduct, which harms the Supreme Court’s legitimacy.
“The public has a right to know whether the Chief Justice intends to accept the status quo of questionable ethics practices chip away at the Court’s reputation, or if you are committed to rebuilding public trust. We ask that your Report take a step in the direction of change and state this commitment,” wrote Kedric Payne, vice president, general counsel and senior director of ethics at Campaign Legal Center.
The Supreme Court’s inability to meaningfully investigate and address misconduct allegations internally could require the Department of Justice to step in and investigate Justices. This precedent was established in 1969 when the Justice Department conducted an ethics investigation into Justice Abe Fortas, who ultimately resigned.
The letter urges the nation’s highest court to join the lower federal courts and the executive and legislative branches of government in establishing an internal ethics office and binding code of conduct.