Apply the Code of Conduct for United States Judges to the Supreme Court

To: Chief Justice John Roberts, United States Supreme Court

Apply the Code of Conduct for United States Judges to the Supreme Court
131,541
of 200,000 signatures
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Campaign created by Louise Slaughter

With members of the Supreme Court having engaged in ethically dubious behavior in recent years, now is the time to apply a binding code of conduct and restore accountability and transparency to the highest court in the land.

Chief Justice John Roberts should apply the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, which already applies to every other federal judge in the nation, to the members of the United States Supreme Court.

Why is this important?

Last week it was reported that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia doesn't believe in molecular biology. He also seems to doubt the need for a transparent, accountable and impartial Supreme Court. Earlier this month, we learned that Justice Scalia has once again met with a conservative political group behind closed doors.

On his annual financial disclosure form, Justice Scalia reported that late last year he accepted an all-expenses paid trip to meet with the shadowy conservative group “Friends of Abe.”

Friends of Abe has been described as “the most important source of underground political activism in Hollywood today.” The secretive group has hosted Republican politicians such as Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan, and even held a fundraiser in 2010 for Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina.

No member of the Supreme Court should be meeting behind closed doors with powerful political organizations that seek to change our nation’s laws. That's why today I'm launching a petition that calls on the Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to adopt a binding code of conduct.  

The Code of Conduct for United States Judges declares that “a judge should not make speeches for a political organization or candidate.”

Yet while every other federal judge is bound by this code, the Supreme Court has exempted itself from these commonsense rules.

Soon, I'll be introducing legislation in Congress to apply the Code of Conduct to the Supreme Court. Together with this petition, we can show Justice Roberts that we're dedicated to restoring accountability and transparency to the highest court in the land.

In recent years, Justice Scalia has attended similar meetings with conservative political activists Charles and David Koch, raising questions about the Supreme Court’s ability to be impartial and transparent in major cases that come before the court.

Justice Scalia is not alone. Justice Clarence Thomas has also attended right-wing fundraisers by the Koch brothers. What's more, Justice Thomas's wife has advertised herself as a lobbyist who has "experience and connections" to conservative groups that have an explicit agenda to overturn health care reform — by repeal in Congress or by overturning the law in the courts.

Trust in the Supreme Court is important — their decisions have the potential to affect every American, and for their rulings to be taken seriously, the justices need us to trust in their judgment and rulings.

REFERENCES

http://gawker.com/antonin-scalia-does-not-believe-in-molecular-biology-513125290
http://www.commonblog.com/2013/06/07/scalias-speech-to-secretive-hollywood-political-organization-raises-questions/
http://www.commoncause.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=4773613&ct=13176509
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/48812.html
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Reasons for signing

  • John W. 2013-06-17 06:58:16 -0700
    Supreme Court justices should be leading the cause of a standard code of conduct for fair and impartial rulings. They should not be hiding behind or bending to political ideologies.
  • Elizabeth C. 2013-06-17 06:58:04 -0700
    I am appalled by their arrogant behavior and partisan decisions.
  • Ray D. 2013-06-17 06:59:11 -0700
    They need to be held accountable for their actions.

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