⌛ Did you miss ProPicks’ 13% gains in May? Subscribe now & catch June’s top AI-picked stocks early.Unlock Stocks

U.S. House panel advances Supreme Court ethics bill

Published 05/11/2022, 09:58 PM
Updated 05/11/2022, 10:00 PM
© Reuters. People visit the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, U.S. March 15, 2022. REUTERS/Emily Elconin/File Photo

By Moira Warburton and Nate Raymond

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. House of Representatives panel on Wednesday advanced a bill requiring the Supreme Court to adopt an ethics code and strengthen rules for justices and other federal judges to recuse themselves from cases when they have conflicts of interest.

The 22-16 vote by the House Judiciary Committee sends the measure to the full House for consideration. It follows calls by Democrats, who hold the majority in the House, for conservative Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from cases involving the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol attack because text messages showed his wife encouraged attempts to overturn the 2020 election.

In text messages sent days before the riot following former President Donald Trump's loss that were reviewed in case proceedings, Thomas's wife, the Republican activist Ginni Thomas, repeatedly asked then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to work to overturn the election results.

The focus on Thomas prompted Republican opposition to the bill, the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act of 2022, despite past bipartisan interest in similar legislation following concerns about ethics issues with other justices.

Republican committee members alleged during the hearing that Democrats were using the legislation to intimidate Supreme Court justices, in light of the draft opinion overturning federal abortion protections that leaked last week.

But Democrats said the legislation was necessary to re-establish sagging public trust in one of the nation's most important institutions.

"People are justifiably shocked when they learn that not only is there no code of conduct for the Supreme Court, but that the justices have steadfastly opposed the creation of one," Democratic Chairman Jerrold Nadler said ahead of Wednesday's vote.

The bill the committee advanced https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/7647 calls for the Supreme Court to issue a code of conduct for its nine justices and would require the justices and their law clerks to disclose all gifts, reimbursements and income they receive.

The bill also raises the standards for justices and other federal judges to recuse themselves from cases when they have conflicts and creates new mechanisms for parties to seek their disqualification.

© Reuters. People visit the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, U.S. March 15, 2022. REUTERS/Emily Elconin/File Photo

Groups that file friend-of-the-court briefs supporting or opposing an issue before the court must also disclose the names of any people who contributed to the preparation the brief or funded the group.

Other legislation to reform aspects of the judiciary are pending. Congress last month approved bipartisan legislation to subject federal judges including the justices to tougher disclosure requirements for their financial holdings and stock trades.

Latest comments

Loading next article…
Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.