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Private groups swaying SCOTUS litigation

Sen. Whitehouse and Rep. Johnson sent a letter to Chief Justice Roberts on September 7, 2022.”We write as Chairmen of the Senate and House Judiciary Federal Courts Subcommittees to request information regarding another allegation of potentially unethical conduct at the Supreme Court of the United States…“One of the nation’s most important institutions … has been quietly captured by far-right political groups … The Court needs to get its house in order.”

“…The existence and scope of this judicial lobbying campaign is alarming and further confirms the need for the judiciary to enact stronger ethics requirements as soon as possible. Litigants and the American public deserve to know when and how private groups are working to sway litigation by providing Supreme Court justices with lavish dinners or hunting trips. These concerns are especially acute if the counsel for these lobbyists is also arguing before these justices in court—as may be the case here. Supreme Court justices, like other public officials, are entitled to maintain personal relationships and a certain level of privacy. At the same time, the American people are entitled to a fair day in court, in front of impartial judges. Private, undisclosed lobbying by motivated organizations threatens this promise, and has no place in our judiciary. Such lobbying should be expressly forbidden by a formal Supreme Court ethics code—as it appears to be under the Code of Conduct for United States Judges13—and the justices’ financial disclosures should provide enough transparency for the public to know when they may be overstepping these boundaries.”

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