We expect all public officials to abide by high ethical standards. We think the nine justices on the Supreme Court should abide by the same Code of Conduct that binds all other federal judges. We’ve called out justices who’ve broken the rules; now we’re working to pass the Supreme Court Ethics Act to ensure that one, transparent standard applies to all federal judges.
Our judicial system depends on public confidence that judges are deciding cases based on the law and the evidence, not their personal relationships with lawyers and litigants or the impact of their rulings on their finances. That’s why we support rules requiring judges to recuse themselves from any matter in which they or their immediate family stands to gain.
Common Cause research led Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court to amend 20 years’ worth of his financial disclosure forms that were incomplete. We support strong disclosure requirements for the personal finances of all judges – and political spending by judicial candidates in states that run judicial elections.