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The Code of Conduct for United States Judges is a set of ethical guidelines, created in the wake of judicial scandals, to protect public confidence in the judiciary. The Code sets forth simple rules, such as:
- No political activity (Canon 5).
- No fundraising (Canon 4).
- Avoid even “the appearance of impropriety” (Canon 2).
Yet shockingly, the Code of Conduct applies to all federal judges except Supreme Court justices. Many of the justices were required to follow these basic rules when they were district or court of appeals judges – they should not be the only judges in our federal judicial system not subject to the Code.