Thomas Revelations Show Need for Supreme Court Ethics Reform
Press ContactKevin Fry email@example.com
Washington, D.C., June 18, 2011–Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron issued the following statement in the wake of revelations in a New York Times story, "Friendship of Justice and Magnate Puts Focus on Ethics," by Mike McIntyre, concerning the possible lapses in ethical behavior by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas:
"Today's revelations in the New York Times concerning Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his relationship with Harlan Crow, a major conservative political donor, as well as questions about the accuracy and completeness of Justice Thomas' mandatory financial disclosure forms, raise once again the issue of the ethical environment within the United States Supreme Court. The nation can ill afford to have an ethical cloud hanging over the Court, caused not only by the behavior of individual Justices, but by the lack of stringent, clear rules governing their behavior. We reiterate our call for the application to the Supreme Court of the mandatory Code of Conduct that governs all other federal jurists. It's long past time for this issue to be addressed and today's report only increases the sense of urgency. Congress should quickly schedule hearings on legislation such as H.R. 862, the Supreme Court Transparency and Disclosure Act of 2011, and begin the process of ending the current system of voluntary compliance that plainly is not sufficient to discourage ethical lapses or end the crisis of public perception that is tarnishing the reputation of one of our nation's most important institutions."
Alliance for Justice is a national association of over 100 organizations, representing a broad array of groups committed to progressive values and the creation of an equitable, just, and free society. AFJ works to ensure that the federal judiciary advances core constitutional values, preserves human rights and unfettered access to the courts, and adheres to the even-handed administration of justice for all Americans. It is the leading expert on the legal framework for nonprofit advocacy efforts, providing definitive information, resources, and technical assistance that encourages organizations and their funding partners to fully exercise their right to be active participants in the democratic process. AFJ is based in Washington, D.C.