The Code of Conduct for United States Judges was established by the U.S. Judicial Conference and covers all federal lower court judges. Among other things, the code says that "a judge should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities." Supreme Court justices insist that they too are guided by the code, but when it comes to ensuring public confidence, voluntary compliance is no substitute for mandatory adherence.Earlier this year, Rep. Chris Murphy of Connecticut introduced a bill that would place the nine justices of the Supreme Court under the same Code of Conduct that applies to every other federal judge.
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Alliance for Justice and others have called for reform of the ethics guidelines for Supreme Court justices. Click here to learn more.