Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas have ignored our requests for the past two months for travel records that would help us sort out their relationship with billionaire political funders Charles and David Koch.
Are they hiding something under those robes?
Quite frankly, it shouldn’t be this difficult to get answers. Supreme Court justices ought be held to the highest ethical standards – and that’s what a new bill recently introduced in Congress would do.
Today Common Cause is filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for expense account filings and other records relating to speaking trips by the justices in 2007 and ’08. Koch Industries has described the justices as “featured guests” at its political strategy and fundraising events. If the records bear that out, their conduct is way out of line with federal laws that instruct judges to avoid even the appearance of bias.
The problem is that the Code of Conduct that applies to every other federal judge is not binding on Supreme Court justices!
We shouldn’t have to jump through hoops like FOIA requests to get answers to basic questions. The Supreme Court Transparency and Disclosure Act* would strengthen confidence in the fairness and impartiality of the Supreme Court by holding justices to high ethical standards.