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Justices’ Ethical Judgments Weaken Supreme Court’s Reputation, Says NYT Editorial

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Justices’ Ethical Judgments Weaken Supreme Court’s Reputation, Says NYT Editorial

Jul 1, 2011, 03:14 pm CDT

The New York Times is criticizing the behavior of some Supreme Court justices and offering a solution: The court should be bound by the code of conduct that applies to other federal judges.

Justices’ ethical judgments were an important issue in the last term, the New York Times says in an editorial. “In several instances,” the newspaper says, “justices acted in ways that weakened the court’s reputation for being independent and impartial.”

The newspaper cites as examples appearances at political events by Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel A. Alito Jr. “That kind of activity makes it less likely that the court’s decisions will be accepted as nonpartisan judgments,” the Times says.

The justices have previously said that they voluntarily comply with the code of ethics.

Prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Justice Thomas’ Friendship with Conservative Benefactor Raises Ethics Issues”

ABAJournal.com: “Bill Would Require Supreme Court Justices to Explain Recusals, Create Ethics Review Process”

ABAJournal.com: “100 Law Profs Lobby Congress to Apply Ethics Code to US Supreme Court Justices”

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