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July 05, 2024

Schiff Joins Stansbury in Demanding Republican House Leadership Take Up Judicial Ethics Legislation

Washington, D.C.— In case you missed it, Representatives Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.) urged Speaker Johnson and Republican leadership to take up judicial ethics legislation to rein in the questionable actions of the country’s highest court.

In a letter, Schiff, Stansbury, and 46 House Democrats called on House Republican leadership to fulfill their obligation to the American public and conduct appropriate, good-faith Congressional oversight.

“We are writing to request that the relevant committees of jurisdiction expeditiously hold hearings addressing ethics and oversight of the Supreme Court and bring relevant legislation to the House Floor. As Supreme Court decisions come out this month amid reporting on concerning ethical behavior by several Supreme Court Justices, we call on House leadership to fulfill their obligation to the American public and conduct appropriate, good-faith Congressional oversight,” wrote the lawmakers.

“There is no current avenue for filing misconduct complaints against Supreme Court Justices, resulting in Justices operating outside of the bounds of professional and ethical standards, underscoring the need for appropriate Congressional oversight. In the Fall of 2023, the Justices adopted a code of conduct without any mechanism to investigate violations or enforcement mechanisms. While we view this as a long overdue first step, it is critical that Congress exercise its authority as a co-equal branch of government and conduct the necessary oversight to ensure compliance with these ethical standards,” continued the lawmakers.

“Several legislative proposals for ethical court reform have been introduced this Congress that we believe, if taken up, would ensure that Supreme Court Justices are held accountable for their actions. This legislation includes, but is not limited to, the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act of 2023, the Judicial Ethics Enforcement Act, and the Judicial Integrity Act. These bills take critical steps to ensure the integrity and accountability of the Supreme Court and work to restore public trust. It is more crucial than ever that Congress takes basic actions within its constitutional authority to address the unaccountable and unethical behavior seen on this Supreme Court,” concluded the lawmakers.

Additionally, the lawmakers called for urgent legislative action to restore ethics, transparency, and accountability to the Supreme Court to repair public trust in the Court’s ability to uphold the integrity and independence of the Judiciary, avoid the appearance of impropriety, perform their duties of office fairly, impartially, and diligently, act consistently with the obligations of their Office, and refrain from political activity.

Read the full letter here.