Confidence in the Supreme Court is declining – but there is no easy way to oversee justices and their politics

Recent evidence showing that Virginia Thomas, wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, sent at least 29 text messages to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows urging him to help overturn the 2020 election has reignited a long-simmering debate about judicial ethics and the nation’s highest court.

Fair and impartial judges are essential to the health and legitimacy of the judicial system and are a critical component of the system of government established in the U.S. Constitution.

In the past, both liberal and conservative justices’ actions have raised questions about ethical standards for the court. Justice Stephen Breyer’s wife owned personal stock in a company involved in a Supreme Court case, for example, and former Justice Antonin Scalia went duck hunting with then-Vice President Dick Cheney in 2003 when the court was considering a case focused on Cheney.

Legal scholars and pundits have debated whether given justices should have voluntarily removed themselves from particular cases given potential conflicts of interest.

As a Supreme Court scholar, I think it is important to recognize that there is no formal code of conduct guiding the work of the Supreme Court, which contributes to a lack of clarity regarding the ethical boundaries for justices.

Tujuan kami adalah menciptakan tempat yang aman dan menarik bagi pengguna untuk terhubung melalui minat dan kegemaran. Untuk meningkatkan pengalaman komunitas, kami menangguhkan sementara fitur komentar artikel