- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 23, 2022

A recent survey of judges from the National Judicial College revealed a strong majority believe the Supreme Court justices should abide by an ethics code.

Although the survey is not scientific, the National Judicial College poses a question to its more than 12,000 alumni each month.

In June, the organization asked, “Should U.S. Supreme Court justices be bound by a code of ethics?”



Out of the 12,000 alumni, 859 judges responded and 97% of them said the justices should be bound by some rules.

“If not them, who???” asked Judge Michael E. Mery, a Texas district court judge. “They should set a very high bar for the rest of us to emulate.”

“Any debate on this is as ridiculous as debating whether a trial court judge should be able to hear his/her own adult child’s contested divorce,” said senior Judge Beverly Cutler of the Alaska Superior Court.

The comments, shared by the National Judicial College in a press release this week, come after a CSPAN poll in March revealed 72% of the public thought the high court justices should have their own code of ethics.

That survey quizzed 1,011 people and had a 3.1% margin of error.

Federal judges abide by a code of ethics, governing conflicts of interests and recusals. However, the Supreme Court does not have to abide by a code of ethics.

Activists have been pushing for legislation mandating a set of rules be implemented for years.

The House Judiciary Committee recently advanced a bill backed by Democratic lawmakers to require the high court to issue an ethics code.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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