« Protesters from the Unite for Democracy Association gathered outside the US Supreme Court in Washington on Monday, calling for action to address what they see as a ‘broken system’ and demanding ethics reform as the court began its new term.
Footage shows activists holding placards advocating change in light of recent scandals surrounding the justices – including Justice Samuel Alito’s use of a billionaire’s private jet for a fishing trip and Justice Clarence Thomas’ nine-day island cruise on real estate magnate Harlan Crowe’s super yacht around Indonesia.
Under US law, justices aren’t subjected to a Code of Conduct in the same way as judges. Both justices defended their trips and said they had followed guidelines.
« They want to dictate how the rest of America, how we should live our lives and what we should and should not do but they have no ideal standards, so I object, » a protester said.
On July 20, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to introduce the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act in the upper chamber. If passed, the bill would establish a new mechanism to investigate alleged violations of a code of conduct for Supreme Court justices.
In a recent poll organised by the Stand Up America Alliance, 78 percent of voters expressed their desire for Congress to enact a code of ethics and increase accountability for Supreme Court justices. »