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“An independent and honorable judiciary is indispensable to justice in our society. A judge should maintain and enforce high standards of conduct and should personally observe those standards, so that the integrity and independence of the judiciary may be preserved.”
-Canon 1 of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges

The U.S. Supreme Court has never adopted nor been subject to a comprehensive code of judicial ethics. H.R. 1 proposes to change that by requiring the creation of a code of conduct for United States Supreme Court justices. There is an existing Code of Conduct for judges serving on lower federal courts that sets forth simple rules, such as:

  • No political activity (Canon 5)
  • No fundraising (Canon 4)
  • Avoid even “the appearance of impropriety” (Canon 2)

Alliance for Justice is a longtime advocate for a Supreme Court code of ethics. As over 100 law professors wrote in a 2011 letter spearheaded by AFJ: “[a]dherence to mandatory ethical rules by justices, and requiring transparent, reviewable recusal decisions that do not turn solely on the silent opinion of the challenged justice will reinforce the integrity and legitimacy of the Supreme Court.”