Read the Supreme Court’s Ethics Rules - The World News

Read the Supreme Court’s Ethics Rules

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compensation for teaching; the Chief Justice must receive prior approval from the Court. See S. Ct. Resolution ¶ 3 (Jan. 18, 1991). Justices may not have outside earned income including income from teaching-in excess of an annual cap established by statute and regulation. Compensation for writing a book is not subject to the cap.

Like lower court judges, Justices engage in extrajudicial activities other than teaching, including speaking, writing, and lecturing on both law-related and non-legal subjects. In fact, the lower court canons encourage public engagement by judicial officers to avoid isolation from the society in which they live and to contribute to the public’s understanding of the law. In deciding whether to speak before any group, a Justice should consider whether doing so would create an appearance of impropriety in the minds of reasonable members of the public.

In addition to this Code of Conduct, the Justices also comply with:

The Constitution of the United States, see, e.g., U.S. Const. Art. I, § 9, cl. 8 (foreign emoluments clause); Amdt. 5 (due process clause).

Current laws relating to judicial ethics including, but not limited to 28 U.S.C. §§ 455, 2109; the Ethics in Government Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 13101 13111, 13141 13145; the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act, 5 U.S.C. § 7342; Pub. L. 110-402, § 2(b), 122 Stat. 4255; and the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012, Pub. L. 112-105, §§ 12, 17, 126 Stat. 303; and

Current Judicial Conference Regulations on: Gifts; Foreign Gifts and Decorations; Outside Earned Income, Honoraria, and Employment; and Financial Disclosure.

See, e.g., S. Ct. Statement on Ethics Principles and Practices (Apr. 25, 2023). The Justices may also take guidance from their colleagues, judicial decisions, the Supreme Court’s Office of Legal Counsel, the Judicial Conference Committees on Codes of Conduct and Financial Disclosure, lower court judges, executive and legislative branch practice and guidance, state judicial ethics authorities, and from scholars, scholarly treatises, and articles. The Justices also continue to look to the Court’s own past resolutions and opinions for guidance. The Court provides mandatory training on judicial ethics principles to all Court employees.

In urging the judiciary to promulgate and adopt what became the lower court Code, Justice Tom C. Clark observed shortly after his retirement from the Supreme Court that judges “must bear the primary responsibility for requiring [appropriate] judicial behavior.” Hearings on Nonjudicial Activities of Supreme Court Justices and Other Federal Judges before the Subcommittee


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