Barrett calls SCOTUS ethics code a ‘good idea,’ senator tells Alito, Thomas to ‘get out of the way’
Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett said it would be a good idea for the high court to adopt its own code of ethics. Justice Barrett made the comments during a lecture at the University of Minnesota Law School.
“Particularly so that we could communicate to the public exactly what it is that we are doing,” Justice Barrett said according to KARE 11 Minneapolis.
Barrett didn’t give details on if or when that might happen, or what exactly it would include.
“All nine justices are very committed to the highest standards of ethical conduct,” Barrett said.
In September, Justice Brett Kavanaugh said the court will take concrete steps to address ethics soon.
The Justices have been under intense pressure to create a stronger code after reporting revealed Justice Thomas went on all expense paid vacations with a conservative billionaire, Justice Alito rode on the private jet of a man who had business before the court, and Justice Sotomayor’s government paid staff members called colleges to encourage them to buy copies of her book.
Both Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee agreed with Barrett and said a code of ethics would be a good thing.
“The implacable wall of Supreme Court resistance is breaking. What’s so apparent now is that there are essentially two Supreme Court justices standing in the way of a code of ethics, Alito and Thomas. They ought to lead or get out of the way,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said.
“I do think it’s something that the court itself should deal with rather than Congress to try to impose something on them. Because then it will be unnecessarily political. And what we need is for people to have confidence in our judiciary, including the Supreme Court,” Sen. John Cornyn R-Texas, told reporters.
Democratic Senators introduced a bill that would require the Supreme Court to create a code of ethics for itself, but they have not been able to pass it.