Fri, 12/09/2022 – 14:58
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01), senior member of the Judiciary Committee, Thursday, during a hearing on Supreme Court ethics regulations and the politicization of the Court, urged his colleagues to support H.R. 7647, the Supreme Court Ethics and Transparency Act. This legislation would require the Supreme Court to create a code of conduct that would apply to both the justices and their employees, ensuring that justices cannot pick and choose their ethical obligations without being bound by a single, uniform code.
A transcript of the Congressman’s remarks is below.
“The Supreme Court – the highest Court in our nation – no longer has the confidence of most Americans. This institution, an historic symbol of integrity and fairness that is meant to be free from politicization, now seems as politicized as Congress itself – and it’s no wonder why.
Report after report has detailed how some justices of our highest court are acting in defiance of the principles of ethics they are meant to uphold.
They’ve accepted tens of thousands of dollars in travel and lodging benefits that don’t get reported.
They’ve refused to recuse themselves in cases where they clearly have a conflict of interest.
And most recently, we learned of a justice potentially catering to [a] special interest group and giving them advanced notice of a pending decision.
Every Member of Congress, and federal judges throughout our system, except those on the Supreme Court, are subject to a code of ethics to govern this kind of behavior. It is bewildering that the Supreme Court Justices are not, and we are clearly seeing the results of that.
We have trusted them to police themselves, and clearly, they have failed.
Fortunately, we know how to fix this. We can, and must, restore faith in our highest Court and we can start by passing the Supreme Court Ethics and Transparency Act, an important court reform package that would do just that.