WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 12 Democratic senators on Thursday introduced the Supreme Court Ethics Act to require the U.S. Supreme Court to adopt a code of ethics for Supreme Court justices.
Unlike every other federal judge, Supreme Court justices are exempt from the Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges—a binding code of ethics that ensures neutrality and transparency in our courts. Recent instances of dubious ethical behavior have increased scrutiny of the Court and eroded public confidence in the institution.
“The American people must be able to trust that our system of justice is fair,” said Senator Harris. “To safeguard public confidence in the integrity of our system, Supreme Court justices must be held to the highest standards of conduct. I’m proud to support this bill to bring some common sense ethics to the conduct of our Supreme Court justices.”
In addition to Senator Harris, the bill was introduced by U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). U.S. Representative Hank Johnson (GA-4) introduced the companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.