THE SUPREMES by Roger Kostmayer
The Supreme Court (SC) is our highest court, and currently has 9 Justices. Its job is to interpret and apply the US Constitution. Chief Justice John Roberts says he wants the American people to respect and trust the SC, allegedly the sole non-partisan third branch of our government, even when they disagree with a SC decision.
Knowing this, you would assume the SC would do things that stimulate trust and respect, and avoid those things that don’t. Unfortunately, the SC seems determined to do the opposite. In addition to the partisan political decision to overturn Roe v Wade (that for 50 years was settled law), and stunning rulings that benefited the right wing wealthy but defied common sense (ruling that money is speech and corporations are persons), there is the Justice Thomas case. Justice Thomas’ wife played an active role in the insurrection’s attempt to overturn the 2020 Presidential election, yet Thomas refuses to recuse himself and continues to rule on cases involving that issue.
Every federal judge in the US, except for the 9 supremes, must comply with a code of ethics. Even the appearance of a conflict of interest requires recusal by judges – except for 9. The question is: Why not the SC? The answer is: There is no good reason for the SC NOT to have an enforceable ethics code. This obvious and outrageous flaw, and the obvious and outrageous failure to correct it, threatens the legitimacy of, and support for, the SC.
It’s time for the SC to stop stalling and whining and start improving transparency and equal accountability. Only when ethics rules apply to every judge, will the SC earn the trust and confidence of the American people.