Supreme Court Judges Need Ethics Code: Professors
They ask Congress to clarify when justices should recuse themselves
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 24, 2011 12:36 PM CST
In this Nov. 20, 2009, file photo, Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia speaks at the Creighton University School of law annual dinner in Omaha, Neb.   (AP Photo/Dave Weaver, File)

(Newser) – More than 100 law professors want Congress to write a code of ethics for the Supreme Court to spell out for the first time when justices should recuse themselves from cases. The effort follows appearances by Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia at political events sponsored by the billionaire conservative Koch brothers, the Washington Post reports. A Connecticut Democrat says he’ll introduce a measure on the matter.

“Inexplicably, we still allow Supreme Court justices to be the sole judge of themselves on recusal issues,” the professors’ letter to Congress says. That’s not the case with judges of lower courts, nor can those judges attend fundraisers or take travel reimbursements from groups that “give the appearance of influencing the judge.” The professors argue these rules should apply to high court justices, too.
 

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