(DCWatchdog.com) – In a surprising development, the United States Supreme Court just capitulated to massive pressure from the left to adopt a “code of ethics,” which isn’t required by law and seems bound to make its justices more vulnerable to Democrat and radical-left extortion.
On Monday, the Supreme Court announced its decision to adopt a formal code of ethics, a significant move in judicial conduct, The Daily Caller reports.
All nine justices have agreed to adhere to a Code of Conduct, which aims to “gather in one place the ethics rules and principles” dictating their behavior, as detailed in a statement from the court.
The report stresses that this decision comes after persistent pressure from Democrats for the Supreme Court to establish such a code over allegations of ethics violations by some conservative justices.
These allegations have prompted legislative proposals demanding the justices to implement an ethics code.
The court’s decision also follows a concerted effort by progressivist activist groups, who have scrutinized conservative justices for their associations with affluent individuals.
“For the most part these rules and principles are not new: The Court has long had the equivalent of common law ethics rules, that is, a body of rules derived from a variety of sources, including statutory provisions, the code that applies to other members of the federal judiciary, ethics advisory opinions issued by the Judicial Conference Committee on Codes of Conduct, and historic practice,” the justices explained.
They dwelled on the misconception that Supreme Court Justices are exempt from ethical guidelines.
“The absence of a Code, however, has led in recent years to the misunderstanding that the Justices of this Court, unlike all other jurists in this country, regard themselves as unrestricted by any ethics rules,” their statement elaborated.
“To dispel this misunderstanding, we are issuing this Code, which largely represents a codification of principles that we have long regarded as governing our conduct,” the justices added.
The code delineates standards for justices in areas such as recusal decisions, participation in external activities, financial dealings, accepting gifts, and reporting reimbursements, among other responsibilities.
Renewed calls for an ethics code were spurred in April following a ProPublica report on Justice Clarence Thomas, which highlighted his vacations funded by billionaire real estate developer Harlan Crow, trips that Thomas had not disclosed.
Conservatives criticized this report as an attack on Thomas, arguing that existing rules did not mandate such disclosures.