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Fri Mar 18, 2016, 03:28 PM

Dems' ethics bill would regulate Supreme Court conflicts of interest; Reps not supporting

"S. 1072** and H.R. 1943,* the Supreme Court Ethics Act, would require that the highest judicial body in the land abide by the same set of rules as the more than 750 judges on the nation’s appeals courts and district courts. The bills are sponsored by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY25).

'The questionable activities of some of our Supreme Court justices have been well documented — participating in political functions, failing to report family income from political groups, and attending fundraisers. It doesn’t make sense that members of the highest court in the land are the only federal judges exempt from the code of conduct,' said Slaughter....

A petition calling for implementation has collected more than 131,000 signatures....

(T)here have been cases where members of the Court arguably broke the ethics rules. One of the more notable examples in recent years also involved Scalia, who went hunting in 2004 with then-Vice President Dick Cheney while a lawsuit against Cheney was pending before the Court, yet Scalia refused to recuse himself from the case....

The House version of the bill has 109 cosponsors, all Democrats. GovTrack was unable to locate a single definitive statement from a sitting Republican explaining why they oppose the measure. The party’s opposition — and vice versa the Democrats’ support — may be because most of the concerns regarding Supreme Court members’ ethics in the past few years have regarded conservative justices."
https://medium.com/govtrack-insider/supreme-court-ethics-act-would-extend-recusal-gift-bans-and-other-ethics-rules-to-the-high-court-511f358430f5#.tmn2ruvv8

* https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1943

** https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/1072

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Reply Dems' ethics bill would regulate Supreme Court conflicts of interest; Reps not supporting (Original post)
TheDormouse Mar 2016 OP
gratuitous Mar 2016 #1
TheDormouse Mar 2016 #2
TheDormouse Mar 2016 #3
Angry Dragon Mar 2016 #4
Igel Mar 2016 #5
TheDormouse Mar 2016 #6

Response to TheDormouse (Original post)

Fri Mar 18, 2016, 03:32 PM

1. Long overdue

As it is, the only authority that can recuse a Supreme Court Justice from a case is . . . that self-same Supreme Court Justice. Scalia was only one of the worst offenders (the Cheney duck hunting trip was one of the more obvious ones). Thomas doesn't get out of cases where his wife has a financial interest.

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Response to gratuitous (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 18, 2016, 03:35 PM

2. and it's not the first time they've tried to pass this; died in the last Congress nt

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Response to gratuitous (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 18, 2016, 03:40 PM

3. it's partly back in the news bcz Scalia died on a free hunting trip at a luxury ranch owned by

a businessman whose company got a favorable ruling from the Court last year (ie, the Court declined to hear an age discrimination case that had been brought against one of the businessman's companies).

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/02/17/justice-scalias-death-and-questions-about-who-pays-for-supreme-court-justices-to-visit-remote-resorts/

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Response to TheDormouse (Original post)

Fri Mar 18, 2016, 03:46 PM

4. the repubs think they own the court -- why change??

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Response to TheDormouse (Original post)

Fri Mar 18, 2016, 04:15 PM

5. The Congress is also exempt from a wide ranging set of regulations and laws

that apply to the executive branch's various offices as well as to business.

The President issues regs for his minions that his immediate reports aren't subject to.

Each of the co-equal branches, near the top, is subject to the same kind of laxness. Because for one to exert much authority in regulations over the other would provide a nifty way of imposing some sort of coercion. "If you don't like what laws we pass, then, Mr or Mme. SCOTUS Judge, you may have one income. You must reside in DC for this length of time. Your investments must be open and consist of this. You may not do this, you must do this."

Whenever Congressional perks are threatened, Congressfolk go bonkers. Same for incursions on Executive space. Some presidents haven't resisted it as much as Obama, and allowed incursions on the unitary authority of the Executive, but few Congressfolk have yielded. I expect that the SCOTUS, with less authority in some ways, would simply strike it down.

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Response to Igel (Reply #5)

Fri Mar 18, 2016, 05:45 PM

6. well, Chief Justice Roberts is quoted as opposing it, but what group has ever willingly

embraced new regulations governing its conduct imposed by a force other than itself?

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