WASHINGTON, D.C.–Peter Welch (D-Vt.) today released the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s adoption of a Code of Conduct, following years of reporting exposing alleged ethical lapses of Supreme Court Justices:
“The integrity of the U.S. Supreme Court matters–and that integrity has continuously been undercut by the Justices’ refusal to act in a transparent and ethical manner.
“The Supreme Court’s establishment of a Code of Conduct was borne out of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s investigation and advancement of legislation to hold the Court accountable to a higher ethical standard. Strengthening the integrity of the highest Court in the land should not have required extensive investigative reporting, Congressional investigations, hearings, or legislation.
“This Code of Conduct is a long-overdue step in the right direction, but many important questions remain unanswered. For example, how will the Court investigate potential violations? How does the Court decide what constitutes ‘the appearance of impropriety,’ and does the Court believe any of the recently reported trips and gifts crossed that line? And what consequences, if any, apply for established violations of the Code? Our work will not be finished until we have uncovered the full depth of past ethical lapses at the court and until we have ensured the American public that there is a transparent system in place to prevent future ones.”