Supreme Shift: High Court Unveils Ethics Code Amidst Controversy


Associate Justice Clarence Thomas (left) joins other members of the Supreme Court as they pose for a new group portrait, at the Supreme Court building in Washington, Oct. 7, 2022. All or most of a $267,000 loan obtained by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to buy a high-end motorcoach appears to have been forgiven, raising tax and ethics questions, according to a new report by Senate Democrats. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) / Associate Justice Samuel Alito (right) joins other members of the Supreme Court as they pose for a new group portrait, Oct. 7, 2022, at the Supreme Court building in Washington. Alito said in an interview he gave to the Wall Street Journal opinion pages, published Friday, July 28, 2023, that Congress lacks the power to impose a code of ethics on the Supreme Court, making him the first member of the court to take a public stand against proposals in Congress to toughen ethics rules for justices in response to scrutiny of their activities beyond the bench. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
Reading Time: < 1 minute

The U.S. Supreme Court has announced a new code of conduct aimed at addressing allegations of ethical misconduct among some justices. The development comes after months of news stories questioning the ethical conduct of Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito.

The new ethics code comes from an existing one from lower courts but is tailored to the unique institutional settings of the Supreme Court. However, details on how it will work, who will enforce it, and its potential impact on financial disclosures remain unclear.

Critics have expressed concerns about the lack of concrete enforcement mechanisms, with some arguing that without robust oversight, ethical rules may lose their meaning.

The court mentioned the need for additional resources for reviewing recusal and ethics issues, indicating potential challenges and implementation.

While the court’s action is seen as a response to public criticism, questions persist about how the rules will be enforced and whether they will satisfy critics.

Click play to listen to the report from AURN White House Correspondent Ebony McMorris. For more news, follow @E_N_McMorris & @aurnonline.

advanced divider
advanced divider