April 20, 2023 The Board of Directors of the New York County Lawyers Association voted unanimously to approve a report calling for the Supreme Court of the United States to adopt a Code of Ethics. The report was prepared by the Association’s Task Force on the Supreme Court and can be viewed here.
“Recent disclosures about Justice Clarence Thomas raise obvious issues, but they are far from the only issues that engender concerns about the Court,” said Adrienne Koch, NYCLA’s President-Elect. “Despite allegations of questionable ethical conduct that have been lodged against many Supreme Court justices during the Court’s history, the Supreme Court is the only federal court in the land which is not subject to a Code of Ethics, and it is time for that to change” said Vincent Chang, NYCLA’s President.
To help restore confidence, the Supreme Court should subject itself to a Code of Ethics. They can do that very simply, by imposing on themselves the same Code of Conduct for United States Judges as exists for every other federal judge in the country. If the Court won’t do that for itself, Congress should pass legislation requiring it for them.
In this fashion we hope the Supreme Court can begin to restore public confidence by taking steps to address the ethical issues that it is now confronting and that it has historically confronted.
About the New York County Lawyers Association
The New York County Lawyers Association (www.nycla.org) was founded in 1908 as one of the first major bar associations in the country that admitted members without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, or gender, and has a long history of supporting the rights of LGBTQ+ people. Since its inception, NYCLA has pioneered some of the most far-reaching and tangible reforms in American jurisprudence. For more information on NYCLA please visit nycla.org.
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