WASHINGTON — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he opposes a bill that’s advanced in the U-S Senate which would create a code of ethics for U-S Supreme Court justices.
Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, says the Democrat-backed bill passed the panel 11-to-10 last week on a party line vote. Grassley says, “Republicans feel and I feel that the congressional branch of government shouldn’t be telling the judicial branch, run by the Supreme Court and the chief justice, how to run their branches.”
Recent reports have questioned actions by several justices on the nation’s highest court, including Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas and Sonia Sotomayor. “Now there has been some things that aren’t just right,” Grassley says, “but I think that the Supreme Court has recognized that by putting out a new set of ethics regulations on March 7th.”
The legislation before the Senate would enact new guidelines for Supreme Court justices, including a requirement that they disclose more of their financial dealings and recuse themselves from cases when there might be a conflict of interest. Grassley says the high court’s leaders are demonstrating a desire to police themselves. “I think it’s going to be a year or two before we know that’s taken care of some of the problems at the Supreme Court that’s been pointed out in recent reports,” Grassley says, “and no need to pass legislation, at least not at this point in time.”
The measure before the Senate needs some Republican support to advance further, and likely has little chance to win passage in the U-S House, where the G-O-P holds the majority.