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Human Rights Alert

Attached: 1) Latest Judgepedia contribution on the matter 2) February 23, 2011 Letter by 107 law professors _________

Supreme Court of the United States
… Criticism
… Ethics concerns and proposed "mandatory and enforceable ethics rules"
Alleged ethics violations by various justices have been reported in recent years, and with them, the need has been noted for rules pertaining to ethics and recusals of Supreme Court justices. No such rules exist at present.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18] [19][20][21] In early 2011, more than 100 law professors released a letter, which proposed congressional hearings and legislation to establish "mandatory and enforceable" ethics rules for Supreme Court justices. [22] [23] According the Legal Times report:[24] The professors note that the Court is not covered by the code of conduct that lower federal court judges are required to follow. The Supreme Court has long said it looks to the code for "guidance" -- a concession which, the signers agree, "has proved insufficient." The letter also points out disapprovingly that individual justices alone decide whether they should or should not recuse in a given case, not subject to review by anyone else, and with no requirement to explain their decisions. The letter states: [25] Adherence to mandatory ethical rules by justices, and requiring transparent, reviewable recusal decisions that do not turn solely on the silent opinion of the challenged justice will reinforce the integrity and legitimacy of the Supreme Court. [26]

10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. ↑ Skaggs, A and Silver A: Promoting Fair and Impartial Courts through Recusal Reform, The Brennan Center February 10, 2011 ↑ Editorial: Untenable Judicial Ethics, New York Times November 27, 2010 ↑ Liptak A: Odd Court Routine: Being the Judge of Whether to Be the Judge, New York Times November 15, 2010 ↑ Liptak A: When a Justice and a Case Are Too Close, New York Times July 24, 2010 ↑ Stein,S: Justices Scalia And Thomas's Attendance At Koch Event Sparks Judicial Ethics Debate , Huffington Post October 20, 2010 ↑ Hamburger,T: Justices' impartiality in campaign spending case questioned, Los Angeles Times January 21, 2011 ↑ Scalia, Thomas Accused of Conflict of Interest, Advocate January 21, 2011 ↑ Shapiro B: Clarence Thomas's Ethics Problems, Then and Now, The Nation October 20, 2010 ↑ Lithwick D: Justices need to set clearer rules about partisan political activity, Slate November 18, 2010 ↑ Kaplan R: Watchdog Says Clarence Thomas Failed to Report Wife's Heritage Foundation Income, National Journal January 24, 2011 ↑ Lewinson J: Clarence Thomas offers "implausible" excuse for false disclosure reports spanning 13 years, The Daily Kos January 25, 2011 ↑ Media Coverage of Supreme Court Ethics, Alliance for Justice ↑ Smith RJ: Professors ask Congress for an ethics code for Supreme Court, Washington Post February 23, 2011 ↑ Richey D: Law professors ask Congress to subject Supreme Court justices to ethics rules, Jurist February 24, 2011 ↑ "Law Profs Urge Ethics Rules for Supreme Court Justices", Blog of the Legal Times February 24, 2011 ↑ CHANGING ETHICAL AND RECUSAL RULES FOR SUPREME COURT JUSTICES, 107 Law Professor, February 22, 2011 ↑ "Law Profs Urge Ethics Rules for Supreme Court Justices", Blog of the Legal Times February 24, 2011