Grassley slams Democrats’ plan to create a code of ethics for the Supreme Court

WASHINGTON — Democrats in the U-S Senate propose creating a code of ethics for the U-S Supreme Court, a move Iowa Senator and Republican Chuck Grassley opposes, calling it a “hit job” on conservative Justice Clarence Thomas.

Grassley serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee which is holding a hearing today to press Chief Justice John Roberts to create a code of conduct for the court. Grassley says that’s unnecessary.  “The Supreme Court has rules that it follows on recusal,” Grassley says. “We just had a justice recuse himself just last week I read because his wife has some stock in a company that is before the Supreme Court.”

The U-S government is set up with a system of checks and balances which Grassley says Democrats are flaunting with their proposed legislation. He says the high court is policing itself. “The court is taking action,” Grassley says, “and under separation of powers, I’m not sure Congress has the authority to tell the Supreme Court what they must do as far as recusal.”

Last month, reports accused Justice Thomas of not disclosing hundreds of thousands of dollars in lavish gifts and globe-trotting vacations from a wealthy Republican donor. New rules were put in place on March 7th which set stricter policies for the disclosing of gifts to any federal judge, including Supreme Court justices. Grassley says he wants to see how those new requirements work out and so far, he says members of the nation’s high court are abiding by the rules.  “Seeing what these other justices have done to amend their reports on travel and on entertainment and things of that nature, I think that it’s been pretty much a hit job on Thomas.”

Grassley says he sees the court “taking the lead on trying to satisfy people” about any perceptions of improper behavior.