Legal Ethics

ABA House Calls for Binding Code of Ethics for Supreme Court Justices
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The American Bar Association (ABA) recently held a meeting in New Orleans, during which the House of Delegates discussed adopting a code of ethics for the U.S. Supreme Court justices. The King County Bar Association in Seattle submitted the resolution. It urged all other bar associations to pass similar resolutions calling for the Supreme Court to adopt a code of judicial ethics binding on its justices.

James Williams, the Washington state delegate to the House of Delegates, introduced the resolution and argued that the legal system must have a code of conduct that governs the behavior of its highest level of officials. He pointed out that every other part of the government structure and every lawyer and judge in the country has a code of conduct, except for the Supreme Court.

Currently, Supreme Court justices are only required to adhere to some ethical requirements set by federal statute. Still, they are not bound by rules that include “the full sweep of basic ethical principles” that apply to other judges. On the other hand, federal judiciary members are covered by the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, which is based on the ABA’s Model Code of Judicial Conduct. Every state has adopted some version of this code.

  
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Richard Bien, a Judicial Division delegate to the House of Delegates, motioned to postpone the resolution indefinitely. He did not disagree with the idea of the Supreme Court having a code of conduct but believed that several entities needed more time to consider the resolution and report, including the Judicial Division, the Standing Committee on Professionalism, and the Standing Committee on Professional Regulation.

In conclusion, the resolution is vital for the legal profession and the Supreme Court. It is about protecting the reputation and credibility of the Supreme Court with the American people and the legal profession. However, the resolution still requires further consideration before it can be adopted.

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REFERENCES:

Supreme Court justices should follow binding code of ethics, ABA House says





 

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