Judicial Ethics and the Supreme Court

Discussion in 'Politics' started by b.c., Nov 21, 2010.

  1. b.c.

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    This article raises some interesting questions about the ethics of justices (both conservative and liberal) getting too close to a political cause:

    Justices need clearer rules about their partisan political activity. - By Dahlia Lithwick - Slate Magazine

    Particularly this rather stunning observation:

    "The justices are not clearly bound by any set of rules, anyhow. The ethical canons that regulate the conduct of the rest of the federal judiciary don't even apply to the members of the Supreme Court."

    The author closes his article with the argument that it is in the best interest of "judicial independence" that justices themselves be allowed to determine, for themselves, what "crosses the line" into "impropriety".

    Which all seems a little odd to me, considering the grilling that candidates face, going in.

    Should there be a more defined code of ethics for the justices of the Supreme Court? What say you?
     
  2. dandelion

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    Dont they get grilled to make sure of their ethics before they get appointed?

    I presume they are free to govern their own behaviour because they are above the law, literally. They are bound only by the constitution and they decide what it means.
     
  3. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    The recent actions of Clarence Thomas (or to be more precise his wife Virginia) and Alito do leave a lot of questions. Virginia was working closely with a questionable non-profit alongside the "Tea Party" called Liberty Central who received lots of money from anonymous donors, as well as attending secret functions conducted by the Koch Brothers. Countdown with Keith Olbermann Countdown with Keith Olbermann

    Justice Alito was actually found leaving an event after giving one of several keynote addresses for conservative fund raisers hosted by American Spectator. On top of this, when approached for questioning by a reporter/blogger for reasons why he was there, some of his security blocked him and threatened to arrest him if he tried to pursue him any further. Apparently the freedom of the press doesn't apply when it's a Supreme Court Justice? Here's one of Alito's speeches from December 2008, just one month after the presidential election - Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's remarks at The American Spectator's Robert L.Bartley Dinner. December 3, 2008 on Vimeo

    Americans have been lead under the impression that their Supreme Court Justices are not to get too close to partisan political matters. While it's fine for any judge to have their beliefs and view cases through the eyes of someone more liberal or conservative, when it starts to become about fundraising that's a completely different issue. Something needs to be done here.
     
  4. b.c.

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    Well the thing is, what is or isn't ethical (for candidates and justices) APPARENTLY depends upon your point of view of that particular person's politics.
     
  5. houtx48

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    If there were ever a case for changing the appointment for life Justice Scalia is it he has been there making decisions since 1984 and could have another 10 years of it.
     
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