Reform of the United States Supreme Court

There are some very smart (some might say brilliant) people serving on the United States Supreme Court. Despite that, public opinion of the Supreme Court is at a record low.  How the people view that court can set a tone for how all judges are viewed.  All of us have a stake in the success of the United States Supreme Court.

The Brennan Center Fair Courts E Alert reports:

An opinion piece published in the Los Angeles Times this week calls for reforms that would make the U. S. Supreme Court more transparent and accountable. “In spite of [the Court’s] vast power, the justices have little accountability. Not only do they decide for themselves when to recuse themselves from cases in which they have conflicts; they also aren’t bound to a code of ethics the way the rest of [the] federal judiciary is. They can decide how much information on investments and travel to release in their annual financial disclosure reports, and they determine when and where people can demonstrate near their building,” writes author Gabe Roth. Roth is the executive director of Fix the Court, a non-partisan group that was recently launched to promote Supreme Court reform. Roth notes that “[d]espite the well-documented political divisions across the country, Republicans, Democrats and Independents are united in their desire for a more accountable Supreme Court. Recent polling found that more than 85% of Americans of all ideologies support requiring the justices to follow the judicial code of conduct from which they are currently exempt. Large majorities also support cameras in the courtroom and compelling the justices to post disclosure reports online.” According to their website, Fix the Court will be seeking improvement in five main areas: (1) recusal reporting; (2) financial disclosures; (3) adherence to the federal judicial code of ethics; (4) documentation of the justices’ public appearances; and (5) media and public access to oral arguments and opinion announcements.

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