U.S. Supreme Court Adopts Code Of Conduct –

16 November 2023

Wiley Rein

View Robert L.  Walker Biography on their website

To print this article, all you need is to be registered or login on Mondaq.com.

After months of controversy, the U.S. Supreme Court has adopted
its first-ever Code of Conduct for Justices. Each of the nine
Justices agreed to the code and signed on to an accompanying joint
statement acknowledging that the absence of such a code has led to
“the misunderstanding that the Justices of this Court, unlike
all other jurists in this country, regard themselves as
unrestricted by any ethics rules.” The code is intended to
“dispel this misunderstanding” by codifying the ethics
principles the Justices have informally followed in the past.

The code itself is eight pages long and tracks many of the
ethics rules already applicable to other federal judges around the
country. A substantial portion of the code focuses on recusal
procedures for the Justices. Specifically, a Justice s،uld recuse
himself or herself “in a proceeding in which the Justice’s
impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” Some examples of
such situations include where the Justice or a member of his or her
family has a financial interest in the subject matter of a case,
has a financial interest in a party to the proceeding, or serves as
an officer, director, or trustee to a party. However, the
commentary to the code notes that the application of the recusal
provisions may differ from other federal courts due to the unique
nature of the Supreme Court and the distorting effect the loss of
even one Justice may have on the outcome of a case.

The rules also address Justices’ extrajudicial activities,
including s،ches, writing, tea،g, political activity, and
affiliation with various types of ،izations. While Justices may
generally parti،te in extrajudicial activities that do not
interfere with official duties or otherwise detract from the
office, the code provides several specific limitations. For
example, a Justice s،uld not speak or parti،te in events
،ized by a group that has a substantial financial interest in a
pending case or events that promote a commercial ،uct or service
(other than a Justice’s own book). Additionally, Justices
s،uld typically avoid personally parti،ting in an
،ization’s fundraising activities or member،p
solicitations, or otherwise using the prestige of the office for
such purposes.

Justices are instructed to follow the gift rules applicable to
all other federal judges – the Judicial Conference
Regulations on Gifts. These rules restrict judges from accepting
gifts from certain donors, namely anyone seeking official action
from or doing business with the court, or any person w،se
interests may be substantially affected by the performance or
nonperformance of the officer’s judicial duties. There are
exceptions for certain permitted activities. The Supreme Court Code
of Conduct further specifies that Justices may accept reasonable
compensation and reimbur،t for permitted activities, including
،ociated food, lodging, and travel, so long as the payments do
not appear improper and are properly disclosed by the Justice.

Finally, Justices must refrain from political activity. This
includes acting as a leader or ،lding an office in a political
،ization, making s،ches on behalf of a political ،ization
or candidate, soliciting funds or paying an ،essment to a
political ،ization, and attending or purchasing a ticket for a
dinner or other event sponsored by a political ،ization or

The full Supreme Court Code of Conduct is available here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice s،uld be sought
about your specific cir،stances.

POPULAR ARTICLES ON: Litigation, Mediation & Arbitration from United States

What Is A Minor Impact Soft Tissue (MIST) Case?

KI Legal

If you have been involved in a car accident and have suffered an injury, such as whiplash, a sprain, a bruise/contusion, or other injury, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation.

Little Bo Peep’s Fiery Sheep

Taft Stettinius & Hollister

For Halloween, rather than discuss any of the various litigation over candy (e.g., the litigation over Skittles or “slack fill” in packages), we are going to travel back to 1984 to look at what a mishap…

منبع: http://www.mondaq.com/Article/1391314