(JustPatriots.com)- The leaked draft opinion isn’t the only controversy the Supreme Court is currently facing, and the House Judiciary Committee is looking to directly address one of those controversies.
On Wednesday, the committee advanced a bill that would require the high court to “create a code of conduct that would apply to both justices and their employees.” The proposed ethics bill is in response to a controversy surrounding conservative Justice Clarence Thomas.
However, the Judiciary Committee said that the bill would address past controversies surrounding justices appointed by presidents of both political parties.
The bill advanced out of committee with a 22-16 vote, which fell along party lines. The bill now goes before the full House for consideration.
Bloomberg Law reports that the Supreme Court justices are the only federal judges who aren’t subject to an ethics policy.
Jerry Nadler, the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, issued a statement shortly after the bill passed out of the committee, saying:
“Recent ethical lapses by justices appointed by presidents from both parties underscores the urgent need for this legislation. The Supreme Court is one of the nation’s most vital institutions, and its fidelity to equal and impartial justice, as well as the public’s faith in the integrity of the judiciary, are foundational to maintaining the rule of law.”
The controversy surrounding Thomas have to do with the fact that he wouldn’t recuse himself from any Supreme Court cases that challenged the 2020 presidential election results. That came even after reporters have revealed that Thomas’ wife, Ginni, tried to lobby former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to investigate ways to keep former President Donald Trump in office.
Ginni was also present at the “Stop the Steal” rally that was held on January 6, 2021, right before protesters marched to the U.S. Capitol building and stormed inside.
Nadler said it was “shocking” to him that a single member of Congress would be opposed to creating a code of ethics for the Supreme Court. He added that all the House Judiciary Committee wants to do is hold the top federal judges in the country to similar standards that every other federal judge is held to.
As he said:
“Republicans on this committee have voted against greater accountability and transparency at one of our nation’s most secretive, but consequential, institutions. Democrats will continue to work to strengthen the judiciary system through commonsense ethics reforms so the American people can have faith in the impartiality of our federal judges and justices.”
That’s obviously not the whole story, though. As Republican Representative Jim Jordan said, Democrats are just trying to move forward a bill that would burden the high court with “layers of bureaucracy.”
He added about Democrats:
“This isn’t about ethics. This is an insurance policy for them when things don’t go their way. They want to have the tools at their disposal to make life hard for the justices. Whether that means seeking recusals, seeking impeachment or just showing up at their house and protesting.”