The United States Supreme Court has announced the adoption of a formal ethics code for its justices. This move, long requested by legal experts and lawmakers, aims to enhance transparency and trust in the highest court of the nation. The code aligns closely with the Conduct Code for United States Judges, previously applicable to lower federal court judges but not the Supreme Court.
The ethics code addresses various aspects, including conflicts of interest, outside income, and gifts. It also provides guidance on recusal from cases where a justice’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned. This step is particularly significant given the lifelong tenure of Supreme Court justices and the immense impact of their rulings on American law and society.
While the Supreme Court has historically followed a similar set of guidelines informally, the formal adoption of this code marks a crucial step in institutionalizing these ethical standards.