Justices Breyer, Scalia discuss ethics at the Supreme Court
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Il., used a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Oct. 5 to quiz Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer and Antonin Scalia on ethics issues at the high court. Common Cause activists emailed Durbin about asking the justices ethics questions.
The unusual hearing — the justices rarely take part in discussions with lawmakers — focused primarily on the role of judges under the Constitution.
Common Cause has been examining ethics enforcement at the court since early this year. We’ve learned that two justices may have attended political strategy and fundraising sessions hosted by Koch Industries, one of the nation’s largest corporations and that one justice has failed repeatedly to file properly the annual financial disclosure forms required by the Ethics in Government Act. Our work helped spark the introduction of legislation to bring the Supreme Court under the Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges, a set of ethical guidelines already applied to other federal judges. Sen. Durbin’s questioning begins at about 1:30 into the hearing.