Bipartisan experts agree that Supreme Court ethics code is necessary
WASHINGTON, DC – Today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Supreme Court ethics reform underscored the need for urgent action to restore public trust in the Court — and bipartisan experts agree. But while Senate Democrats — led by Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin — have demanded action following a string of serious Supreme Court scandals, Senate Republicans have refused to take action, instead using the hearing as an opportunity for political grandstanding and performative outrage.
Our nation’s highest court should not have the lowest ethical standards. Today’s hearing — made possible by Senate Democrats stepping up to take action — is a critical step forward in raising those standards to match the high position the Court occupies. Without immediate reform to restore credibility and integrity to our Court, public trust in one of our core American institutions will continue to plummet.”
Accountable.US president Kyle Herrig.
In written testimony submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee ahead of today’s hearing, conservative former federal judge J. Michael Luttig called on the Court to enact a code of conduct that would “subject itself to the highest professional and ethical standards that would render the Court beyond reproach.” Luttig, considered a “conservative legal heavyweight,” has maintained longstanding, close ties to the Court; he even helped prepare Justice Clarence Thomas for his controversial Senate confirmation hearings.
With his statement, Luttig joined a chorus of leading legal experts speaking out to address a pattern of troubling ethics issues that have undermined the legitimacy of the Supreme Court. Even so, GOP lawmakers have ignored calls for reform. Instead, key Senate Republicans from Chuck Grassley to Ted Cruz saw the hearing as a place for political posturing — even as public trust in the Court is at a historic low.