When I read an Associated Press wire that “the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said it was time for (Supreme Court) justices to bring their conduct in line with the ethical standards of other branches of government,” I immediately thought, “Please let this dude be a Republican. I could really go for some GOP bashing.”
No such luck. That dude is Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, because of course that’s who it was.
Ethical standards … please. Naked men marching in “Pride” parades have higher ethical standards than most of the men and women in Congress.
The AP published stories showing that justice Sonia Sotomayor, aided by her staff, advanced sales of her books through college visits over the past decade. Isn’t that kind of like sitting senators getting published? Say, by Cory Booker, Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, Diane Feinstein, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, Chuck Schumer, and Elizabeth Warren?
What’s that? They didn’t use their position, power, taxpayer time, or staff to help sell books? Their books were quietly released under the cover of darkness, and they never mentioned them? Whew. I feel better.
The next issue the Justices need to reckon with is universities using their visits to raise money … by placing them in event rooms with wealthy donors. You mean like every member of Congress does to raise money for their campaign funds?
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What’s that? Congressman don’t mingle with wealthy donors to enrich themselves? They don’t appear at NRA or Planned Parenthood functions to raise money for those entities? Whew. I feel better.
The AP also bashed the Justices for taking expenses-paid teaching trips to attractive locations where they didn’t actually do much work? Seems like that rings a bell — ah, yes! The laughable “fact finding” trips Congressmen go on to find out facts that are already available, written by experts, and sitting on their desks?
What’s that? Congressmen only take these “fact finding” trips to war-torn areas, or places just hit by a natural disaster? Conditions are so rough they eat MREs, drink canteen water, and sleep on a fox hole? Whew. I feel better.
The AP went on to report that Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., who also sits on the Judiciary Committee, called the AP stories “powerful reports” that amount to a “drip-by-drip-by-drip indictment of a Supreme Court that seems answerable to no one for ethical breaches.”
Indictment? Like, untrustworthy? Like when Senator Blumenthal said he served in Vietnam (when he didn’t) … and actually received five deferments? That kind of untrustworthy?
I had a good laugh about the whole thing, until I read the American Bar Association was demanding they have a code of ethics, too. Well, that changes everything! The organization in charge of ensuring people like Alex Murdaugh operate above reproach has spoken!
In a survey published by Forbes, 19 percent of Americans believe lawyers maintain “high or very high standards.” That number drops to 8 percent when asked about members of Congress — which is a tie with car salesmen. Clearly we have a powerhouse of trusted professions leaning on SCOTUS to be more trustworthy … all they need for a hat-trick of American confidence is to add Anthony Fauci.
It might be worth noting the Constitution does not require a code of ethics for SCOTUS, but instead states they must demonstrate “good behavior.” Why would this be? Perhaps because SCOTUS Justices live their lives under a microscope, and can be impeached for any untoward behavior? Because Congress goes all the way back to their high school yearbook during the hearings to decide about their ethics? That an alleged pubic hair in a Coke can cause a national meltdown?
A Gallup Poll reports that public confidence in the Supreme Court is at a 20-year low. Maybe, just maybe — and I’m just spit-balling here — but maybe that has to do with the outrage over the recent abortion ruling? The ruling on the constitutionality of Congress ignoring the old “all the rights not listed in the Constitution belong to the people, not the federal government?” A ruling that says nothing about abortion being good or bad — only that the issue must be decided at the state level?
Hey, I’m not happy the Bible Belt states have gone insane with their new-found power, but SCOTUS ruled correctly … people just don’t like the ruling.
It wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Supreme Court to have a written code of ethics, but who will dictate them? Should it be the august body that’s had to investigate their own ethics violations twenty times since March of 2021? And no one got the boot?
Either there’s a lot of wasted time investigating innocent Congressmen, or ethics violation punishments have teeth about as sharp as Nancy Pelosi’s.
Let’s say Congress shoves a Code of Ethics down the Supreme Court’s throat. Who will prosecute those violations? Congress? Gee, that wouldn’t be partisan. Every Justice would have a new investigation launched every time they issued an unpopular opinion.
Should we sequester them throughout their term on the bench? Lock them in a room, so partisan politicians can’t dig up any dirt?
The Supreme Court is the one branch of government that has the ability to operate without partisanship. Yes, there are conservative and liberal Justices, but from time to time they actually agree on the law. How often does Congress do anything but block-vote down the party line? If Republicans proposed a resolution that said, “George Washington was an effective President,” every Democrat would vote against it. If the Democrats proposed a resolution saying, “Andrew Jackson did a lot for voting rights,” every Republican would vote against it.
Congress isn’t a governing body — they’re a trailer trash divorce in slow motion, complete with rock-hard bean dip on the coffee table, buried tires lining the property line and spite-driven child custody fights.
Yes, SCOTUS should operate under the same ethics imposed on lower courts, but for Congress to bitch about their lack of ethical standards is quite like Hunter Biden bitching about the FBIs lack of ethics.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Prioleau Alexander is a freelance writer, focusing mostly on politics and non-fiction humor. He is the author of two books: ‘You Want Fries With That?’ and ‘Dispatches Along the Way.’ Both are available on Amazon. He hopes to have another title published soon, but that would require his agent actually doing his job, so it may be awhile. Oh, and if you want to see his preferred bio pic? Click here …
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