Coalition Letter to Justice Roberts regarding SCOTUS financial disclosures

July 23, 2013



Dear Chief Justice Roberts,

We represent a group of organizations committed to promoting transparency and ethics in government, and we are writing to request that the Supreme Court change its financial disclosure policy. This proposal would not require any new substantive disclosure, but merely a changed method of making Justices' disclosures available so that they are more accessible to the public.

Currently, interested citizens must either request the Justices' financial disclosure forms individually or wait to access them on other websites. At the same time, other public officials - for instance, the President, the Vice President, and Members of Congress - are much more transparent, posting this information online as soon as it becomes available. Indeed, the U.S. House and Senate even provide searchable databases containing this information.

We strongly urge the Court to increase its overall transparency by posting the Justices' financial disclosure forms on its website as soon as they become available each year, beginning with those filed in 2013. This policy change will make it much easier for interested citizens to access the Justices' financial information, promoting public confidence in the federal government in general, and in the Supreme Court in particular. As the highest court in the nation, the Supreme Court would also serve as a powerful model of transparency and openness for the rest of the judiciary - both state and federal.

We appreciate your consideration of this request and look forward to a response at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,

Alliance for Justice

Association of Research Libraries

The Center for Media and Democracy

Center for Public Integrity

Common Cause

Justice at Stake

OpenTheGovernment.org

Society of American Archivists


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