Durbin Statement on Federal Judiciary Clarifying that Justices and Judges Must Disclose the Value of Free Trips

WASHINGTON  U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement regarding the federal judiciary’s updated guidance clarifying that justices and judges must disclose the value of free trips:

“While I applaud this decision by the federal judiciary to clarify its financial disclosure rules to properly reflect federal law and ensure justices and judges disclose the value of free trips, the Senate and the American people deserve to know the full extent of how billionaires with interest before the Court use their immense wealth to buy private access to our Supreme Court.  I will continue to push for more transparency and for an enforceable code of conduct for Supreme Court justices.  The highest court in the land should not have the lowest ethical standards.”

Last 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 12 years ago.