Chief Justice continues trend of inaction re: Court ethics

WASHINGTON, DC – In his remarks yesterday at a private awards ceremony, Chief Justice Roberts admitted more can be done to address the growing Supreme Court corruption crisis — but refused to elaborate and made no promises regarding his own responsibility to clean up his Court.

Chief Justice Roberts sat back and watched while the Supreme Court corruption crisis reached a fever pitch, causing public trust in his Court to plummet. Now, he’s admitting more can be done — but keeps pretending he isn’t responsible for cleaning up his own Court. Americans deserve more than a few noncommittal comments behind closed doors. Chief Justice Roberts himself has the power to change the ethics standards of our nation’s highest Court, but so far, he hasn’t shown the courage. Instead of preaching to a private crowd, he should take action.”

Accountable.US president Kyle Herrig.

Chief Justice Roberts’ remarks were his first extensive public reflections since the start of the pandemic. In the meantime, Roberts’ Court has overturned Roe v. Wade — following the leak of a draft ruling and a failure to identify the source — and continues to face a string of serious ethics scandals that has grown to a full-blown crisis.

Chief Justice Roberts himself has been caught at the center of a recent Court ethics issue. Last month, whistleblower documents revealed that Jane Roberts, who is married to the Chief Justice, made $10.3 million in commissions from elite law firms. At least one firm argued a case before Chief Justice Roberts after paying his wife hundreds of thousands of dollars. Later, Jane Roberts’ past anti-abortion work with a Supreme Court-involved group resurfaced, highlighting the need for increased transparency for arrangements that could call justices’ impartiality into question.

Accountable.US has continuously called for Chief Justice Roberts to take action regarding the serious ethics issues plaguing his Court. Earlier this month, Accountable.US launched a mobile billboard campaign near the Capitol Building and around Roberts’ Chevy Chase country club which displayed messages reading “Chief Justice Roberts: The Face of a Court in Crisis,” and “Chief Justice Roberts: Clean Up Your Court,” as well as headlines highlighting Roberts’ inaction.



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