After almost a full summer of seeing Justice Clarence Thomas’ integrity questioned, the court has decided to release a new code of conduct.
The 14-page report includes not only five canons of conduct but also specific rules for when a justice must recuse themselves from the bench and activities outside the court that are permissible to engage in.
All nine justices signed the new conduct rules.
Caving to Liberals
The pressure that has been put on the court by Democrats has been immense since ProPublica issued a report on the conduct of Justice Clarence Thomas.
Make no mistake about it… this was a hit piece designed to try to get Thomas to retire, but it did not work.
The fact of the matter is that you could look at any member of the court for having engaged in like activity. I am not defending anything, as I have already stated that I have seen various activities by all court members that I thought were questionable, but they were all following the rules as they were set out at the time, including Thomas.
The justices attached a statement to the new code of conduct that read:
"The undersigned justices are promulgating this Code of Conduct to set out succinctly and gather in one place the ethics rules and principles that guide the conduct of the Members of the Court.”
To be honest, most of these rules are not new, and they more or less follow the code of conduct for judges on the lower courts that are already in place. However, since there was never any formal code published, this was their way of silencing their critics.
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), who has been after Thomas for quite some time, stated, "For now, I will note that the court's adoption of this code marks a step in the right direction.”
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who, by the way, belonged to an all-white beach club in his home state, has also been on his soap box.
He stated, "This is a long-overdue step by the justices, but a code of ethics is not binding unless there is a mechanism to investigate possible violations and enforce the rules.”
Gabe Roth, the executive director of ethics watchdog Fix the Court, was also unhappy, stating, "If the nine are going to release an ethics code with no enforcement mechanism and remain the only police of the nine, then how can the public trust they’re going to do anything more than simply cover for one another, ethics be damned?"
All this noise is being created to both undermine the court’s authority as well as pressuring Thomas to retire.
Believe me, if Democrats currently had a 6-3 advantage on the court, they would all be sitting on their hands right now.
I never understood why Republicans did not go after conservative justices with the same fervor that Democrats were attacking Thomas and the other conservative members of the court.