PETER WELCH, Senator for Vermont

WASHINGTON—Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) joined the Senate Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Federal Courts, Oversight, Agency Action, & Federal Rights yesterday to call for the passage of the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency (SCERT) Act of 2023, legislation that would establish a code of conduct for Supreme Court Justice. The bill’s introductionfollows numerous reported instances of ethical misconduct by Justice Clarence Thomas and public confidence in the Supreme Court at an all-time low. At present, the Supreme Court does not abide by a formal code of conduct.

“I am extremely worried about what’s happening on the Supreme Court and what’s happening with the failure of the Chief Justice to relieve us of this public spectacle. I’m worried because the Supreme Court has to be a credible institution in our democracy. And I’m worried about how that has eroded with the unwillingness of that court to subject itself to the same ethical requirements that 850 other federal judges adhere to,” said Sen. Welch.Congress has a role to play. The court has a role to play with ethics, and the court has a role to play with respecting the right of the majority to legislate decisions on behalf of the public interest.” 

The SCERT Act would: 

Create Code of Conduct and Develop a Process for Enforcement 

Improve Hospitality and Financial Disclosures 

Strengthen Recusal Requirements 

For video from Sen. Welch’s remarks, please click the image below or click here.