A US federal judge appointed by then-Republican President George W. Bush argued that US Supreme Court justices should be bound by a code of ethics.
Senior US District Judge Reggie B. Walton called the absence of such a code “unimaginable” during a conference in Chicago hosted by the National Judiciary College.
“We had some judges involved in atrocious behavior, sexual assault, sexual intimidation and other wrongdoing,” Walton said Thursday at the event, per Reuters. “And often we haven’t proactively punished and sanctioned them for what they did.”
Appointed by Bush in 2001, Walton has joined growing calls for a code of conduct. In recent weeks, the House of Representatives has been presented with a bill that would establish such a code.
“If the American public has the perception that we have a part of our judiciary that doesn’t police itself properly because it doesn’t have rules telling it how to behave, then I think that creates a real problem ‘ said Walton, Reuters added.
A recent Yahoo News/YouGov poll shows that Americans’ trust in the Supreme Court has declined since late 2020. As of May 2022, more than 50 percent of Americans have little or no trust in the Supreme Court, the poll shows.
A lack of accountability hurts “respect for the judiciary,” Walton also said That Washington Post on Friday.
“As a court system, federal, state and otherwise, we are under scrutiny and attack,” he said. “And I think there is an attempt by some to undermine our independence. And for that reason, I think all judges should be subject to a code of ethics.”
On May 11, the House Judiciary Committee introduced a bill that would require the country’s top court to adopt a code of ethics. The legislation is now under scrutiny by the House as a whole.
The proposed code of ethics would also strengthen rules for judges to withdraw from any case where there is a conflict of interest, Reuters reported.
The calls for Assistant Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to withdraw from cases related to the January 6, 2021 US Capitol riots. Text messages reportedly showed that his wife, Virginia Thomas, supported efforts to overthrow the 2020 presidential election.
https://www.newsweek.com/george-w-bush-appointed-federal-judge-calls-scotus-code-ethics-1711497 Federal judge appointed by George W. Bush calls for SCOTUS code of ethics