Durbin Calls on Supreme Court to Create Code of Conduct As New Term Begins

SPRINGFIELD – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today released the following statement calling on the United States Supreme Court to create a code of conduct as it begins a new term:

“The Supreme Court’s new docket, which begins today, should start with one essential element: re-establishing the integrity of the Court. 

“The public reports of lavish gifts, luxury vacations, and sordid political relationships go to the heart of this Court’s credibility.  Failure by the Court to establish a code of conduct makes these nine Justices self-anointed royalty in our democracy.

“The highest court in our land should not have the lowest standard of ethics.”

In July, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency (SCERT) Act to the full Senate.  The bill would require Supreme Court Justices to adopt a code of conduct, create a mechanism to investigate alleged violations of the code of conduct and other laws, improve disclosure and transparency when a Justice has a connection to a party or amicus before the Court, and require Justices to explain their recusal decisions to the public.

Durbin has been calling on the Supreme Court to adopt an enforceable code of conduct for more than a decade.  He first sent a letter to the Chief Justice on this issue more than 11 years ago.