“This unenforceable public relations document serves absolutely no purpose other than to permit the media to revert to pretending that our unaccountable and unethical Supreme Court retains legitimacy,” one advocate said.
In the wake of a series of high-profile scandals surrounding the relationship between right-wing justices and billionaires, the U.S. Supreme Court announced on Monday that it had formally adopted a new Code of Conduct.
The 14-page code is based on requirements for lower court judges, and most of the rules it outlines are not new, the court said. Watchdog groups have been widely critical of the new document, which does not stipulate how the conduct it promotes will be enforced, with the Revolving Door Projectlabeling it a “toothless PR stunt.”
The Senate Finance Committee chair said he “should inform the committee exactly how much debt was forgiven and whether he properly reported the loan forgiveness on his tax returns and paid all taxes owed.”
The U.S. Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday released a report detailing how embattled Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas may have had a substantial amount of a loan for a luxury RV forgiven by a wealthy friend—which one watchdog called “a serious ethics issue.”
The panel’s probe was sparked by New York Times reporting from August about Anthony Welters loaning Thomas money to buy a used Prevost Le Mirage XL Marathon, or “the Rolls-Royce of motor coaches,” which cost $267,230 in 1999. Welters told the newspaper that “the loan was satisfied” and provided a photograph of the title with his signature and a handwritten “lien release” date of November 22, 2008.
“Should Justice Alito preside over this case despite his clear conflicts of interest, it would add to the worsening Supreme Court corruption crisis and underscore the urgent need for ethics reform,” said one critic.
Anti-corruption watchdog Accountable.US on Monday said there is a clear need for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito to recuse himself from an upcoming court case regarding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as a new analysis revealed the extent of one of his key associate’s financial interests in the case.
The group released new data showing that hedge fund manager Paul Singer holds at least $90 million in financial firms overseen by the CFPB, which was established in 2011 through the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and has since provided $16 billion in financial relief to defrauded consumers and ordered companies to pay $3.7 billion in penalties.
Bishop William Barber, founding director of Yale’s Center for Public Theology and Public Policy, penned an open letter on Monday decrying recent decisions by far-right Supreme Court justices and the complicity of political leaders who have “watched our democracy being slowly chipped away.”
Addressed to President Joe Biden, Congress, and the U.S. public, Barber’s “Moral Declaration for America” was released on the eve of July 4, which marks 247 years since the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
In what one chief called “a major victory” for Native American tribes, the United States Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a federal law enacted to protect Indian children from being separated from their families.
The justices’ 7-2 decision in Haaland v. Brackeen leaves intact the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), a 1978 law passed in response to over a century of Native American children being taken from their relatives and often placed in state or religious institutions or with white families.
The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday it will hear a challenge to a nearly 40-year administrative law precedent under which judges defer to federal agencies’ interpretation of ambiguous statutes—a case that legal experts warn could result in judicial power grabs and the gutting of environmental and other regulations.
The Supreme Court said it will take up Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo—a case in which fishing companies are seeking to strike down the Chevron doctrine, named after the landmark 1984 Chevron USA v. Natural Resources Defense Council ruling that conservatives have long sought to overturn. The case is one of the most cited precedents in administrative law.
A whistleblower from the legal recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa says Jane Sullivan Roberts, the wife of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, earned $10.3 million in commissions over seven years from her job as a headhunter at the company, where she placed attorneys with law firms—including at least one that argued a case before the Supreme Court after the placement was made.
Sullivan Roberts earned the money between 2007 and 2014, having taken a job with the company two years after her husband was confirmed to the Supreme Court, according to a report out Friday from Business Insider.
“It’s clear that the ultraconservative justices in particular cannot be trusted to hold themselves to the same ethical standard as other federal judges,” said one advocate, calling for congressional action.
Swearing in of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. Photo: White House
Fresh calls for federal lawmakers to pass new ethics rules for the U.S. Supreme Court mounted after The New York Times on Tuesday revealed that a former colleague of Chief Justice John Roberts’ wife raised concerns to Congress and the U.S. Department of Justice.
After her husband joined the nation’s top court, Jane Sullivan Roberts left her job as a law firm partner to work as a legal recruiter. Though Roberts is now the managing partner of the Washington office of Macrae Inc., she and Kendal Price, the author of a letter obtained by the Times, worked as recruiters for the global firm Major, Lindsey & Africa. Continue reading →
“Killing affirmative action will have a devastating impact on Black, Hispanic, and Native students,” wrote one journalist, “and such a ruling would be totally unjustified by the text or history of the Constitution.”
Protesters gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court as affirmative action cases involving Harvard and University of North Carolina admissions are heard by the court in Washington, D.C. on October 31, 2022. Photo: Maya Wiley/Twitter
During the course of roughly five hours of oral argument on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court’s far-right supermajority seemed open to rolling back decades of precedent allowing public and private colleges and universities to make race-conscious admissions decisions.
Referring to Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina—cases he contends were “manufactured to abolish affirmative action in higher education”—Slate‘s Mark Joseph Stern argued that “all six conservative justices are poised to declare that colleges’ consideration of race violates the Constitution’s equal protection clause and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which applies equal protection standards to private institutions.” Continue reading →
High school students protest for gun law reform in Minneapolis on February 21, 2018. Photo: Fibonacci Blue/flickr/CC
Legal experts said Friday that a federal judge’s ruling in West Virginia illustrates the danger posed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s right wing majority, which ruled this year in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen that restrictions on firearms must fall within the so-called “historical tradition” of gun laws.
U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin, who was appointed to the Southern District of West Virginia by former Democratic President Bill Clinton, ruled against a federal law prohibiting people from possessing firearms with serial numbers that have been “altered, obliterated, or removed.” Continue reading →