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June 12, 2024 08:08 AM UTC

Wednesday Open Thread

  • 14 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

–Albert Einstein

Comments

14 thoughts on “Wednesday Open Thread

      1. But you cannot legislate that. That has to be done by the court. And even if the Congress were to pass a code of ethics, guess who would have the final say on whether it violates separation of powers doctrine?

        If the Dems take the House in November, then next spring they can force Harlan Crowe to pony up some $$$ to hire counsel to defend Clarence Thomas in an impeachment proceeding. Thomas will either resign (if Trump is president, so Trump can appoint some young Federalist Society member to his seat) or he will fight it out (if Biden is president) with the GOP-controlled Senate doing to Thomas’ impeachment what the Democratic-controlled Senate did to Mayorkas’ impeachment (i.e., summary judgment).

        Dog bark but the parade marches on.

        1. Brennan Center for Justice disagrees, and points to how Congress already has some legislation on the Court. [https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/congress-has-authority-regulate-supreme-court-ethics-and-duty]

          As the history of congressional regulation of Supreme Court ethics makes clear, it is squarely within Congress’s constitutional power to ensure the integrity of a coequal branch by holding Supreme Court justices to high ethical standards. Since the founding, Congress has played a central role in regulating the ethical conduct of the justices, first by requiring them to take an oath written by Congress. Congress also sets the terms by which federal judges, including Supreme Court justices, retire and how they are compensated.  

          Since 1948, Congress has required the justices to recuse themselves from cases in certain circumstances, including in any proceeding in which their impartiality might reasonably be questioned. At the same time, the law does not provide a clear mechanism to challenge a justice’s failure to recuse, leaving a great deal of discretion in the hands of justices with conflicts of interest. As for disclosure, Congress has required the justices to disclose their financial holdings and regulated other sources of income since 1978, with increased transparency requirements around securities transactions enacted on a bipartisan basis just last year. But the justices currently embroiled in scandals involving the failure to disclose information about gifts maintain that the law does not require such disclosure.

          As for standards, I think Congress could mandate that ALL federal judges, including members of the Court, have a common Judicial Code with a single mechanism for enforcement that applies to all.  They might get into deeper waters if they tried to write an enforcement mechanism that was NOT based within the judicial branch, such as an appointment of an Inspector General from the Executive Branch who held disciplinary discretion. 

          1. Besides Jackson, Sotomayor, Kagan and Roberts, which of the other justices do you believe would provide the fifth vote to uphold the constitutionality of such a code of ethics?

            1. Depends on the actual legislation and the arguments presented, of course.

              But if it is only an application of the EXISTING Judicisl Code to members of the Supreme Court, I would hope Gorsuch and Coney Barrett could be persuaded to vote with Roberts.

    1. The mental masturbation at Fox News and NewsMax is off the charts right now.  Also, NewsMax is trying to jump on the coattails-crazy train-meme stock-grift and going public!  You, too, can be rich!  Send grannies food money to: www.NewsMaxInvest.com

       

  1. Anecdotal, but sitting with the parental unit at their daily coffee clatch and everyone at the table sans one cast their vote for Jerry (the rogue vote was Holtorf). Little use for Ms Carperbagger in these parts. Yuma County does not an election make, but it’s a good start. 

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