Chief Justice John Roberts

8:30 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Congress Should Impose Ethical Rules on Supreme Court, Says John Yarmuth

Credit File photo

Kentucky Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth wants the U.S. Supreme Court to abide by a set of ethical guidelines similar to other federal judges.

Yarmuth is co-sponsoring the Supreme Court Ethics Act of 2013, which would require the High Court to adopt a code of conduct.

"Federal judges are appointed for life. If you have ethical lapses or conflicts of interest as a legislator the voters vote you out. There is no accountability for justices and it seems to me with just on general principles but also in light of some recent, questionable activities by some of the justices this would be something that is very, very important," says Yarmuth.

Democrats pushing the measure point to the political activity of conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia as reason to have the rules. Both Thomas and Scalia attended a Koch Industries fundraiser three years ago and a dinner fundraiser event for the Federalist Society in 2011.

The measure strikes not only a partisan political cord—no Republicans have co-sponsored the bill—but a possible legal questions regarding the separation of powers.

Read more