An ethical debate follows a code: the US Supreme Court has imposed rules of conduct for the first time. Reports of expensive gifts were a trigger for the American judge – and his colleagues were also paying attention.
For the first time in US history, Supreme Court justices have upheld the probity rule. This is evident from the report of the Supreme Court. The document describes when they must recuse themselves from a case – for example “personal bias” or “financial interest”.
The code also includes rules on accepting gifts and prohibits judges from giving speeches at events “sponsored by or associated with a political party or campaign”.
It is unclear who is responsible for enforcing the code of conduct and what the penalties are for non-compliance. In the document, the chief justices agree that this may require additional evidence. It should now be checked.
Judges speak “Misunderstanding”
Reports of expensive gifts from Texas real estate magnate Harlan Crowe to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas had previously sparked an ethics debate — focused not only on Thomas, but also on his colleagues. Although US federal judges are already subject to a code of conduct, until this announcement the most powerful court in the US had no such rules.
“For the most part, these rules and principles are not new,” the document said in its introduction. However, the absence of a uniform demarcated line has led to a “misunderstanding” that Chief Justices, unlike other lawyers in the country, do not feel bound by any ethical rules.
Report on donation trip
According to a report by the investigative news website “ProPublica,” Crowe, a major conservative donor, among other things, donated a 2019 trip to Indonesia for Thomas, which the ultraconservative judge and his wife Ginny spent on Crow’s yacht. They also traveled on his private jet.
The 75-year-old judge later submitted a statement saying he was advised not to take scheduled flights for security reasons. The background is his negative attitude towards abortion rights and the violent left’s reaction to it. On the Supreme Court, where nine justices are appointed for life, Thomas usually takes staunchly conservative positions.
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