WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — A group of Democrats says it’s time the Supreme Court adopts new ethics standards.
“The highest court should not have the lowest standards,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)
Currently, Supreme Court justices aren’t required to follow the ethics rules given to other federal judges. Whitehouse’s bill would change that.
“It could not be more timely, now that we have a captured supreme court that needs that extra layer of accountability,” Whitehouse said.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) say recent revelations about the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas demonstrate why this is so important.
“We’ve learned that justice Clarence Thomas ruled on a case concerning the insurrection that his wife participated in and helped plan,” Jones said.
“The public is watching the United States Supreme Court to see whether or not Justice Thomas will recuse himself,” Blumenthal added.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) isn’t ready to support the bill but agrees more transparency is needed.
“I think a full disclosure of their financial positions much like we do here, should be able to satisfy that,” Capito said.
But some Republicans think Democrats are not focusing on the right concerns.
“They can’t even make sure that that person answers questions on how she would define a woman or when life begins,” Rep. Fred Keller (R-Penn.)
Keller believes Democrats are prioritizing their self-interests.
“What they’re doing is quite frankly a political stunt, rather than good government,” Keller said.
If passed, all nine justices are required to follow these new standards.