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View Diary: Democrats introduce Supreme Court Ethics Act to helpfully suggest the Supreme Court have some (79 comments)

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  •  This sounds like (11+ / 0-)

    A good case for tightening the existing rules at the same time.  If the spouse doesn't work directly for a party but stands to profit handsomely from an outcome, the judge should still be required to recuse him or herself.  Also, accepting gifts or "training" junkets for parties with interests before th court should be similarly strictly prohibited.   Sad that the Supremes can't even bear to be governed by the laughably lax rules that prevail for other federal judges

    Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion. An activist seeks to change opinion.

    by Mindful Nature on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 01:06:39 PM PDT

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    •  It is kind of funny to think about how (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mindful Nature, alice kleeman

      strict the rules have gotten with respect to what drug companies can do with physicians while the Justices of the Supreme Court could be well tended to through their spouses; or other ties by the same companies.  Just seems a bit ironic, doesn't it?

    •  If a spouse profits directly, that requires (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Villanova Rhodes, VClib, Eyesbright

      recusal.  For example, if a ruling in the case means that someone pays the spouse $x, that requires recusal.  

      What happened in the situation of Judge Reinhardt, and Justice Thomas, is that each had a spouse that worked for a group that advocated a particular position in the case before them.  Those advocacy groups raised money to advocate for those positions.  A particular ruling in the case may, or may not, have been in line with the position the group or organization took.  In neither case did the spouse stand to "profit handsomely" from the ruling.  

      The rules are a recognition that, especially in today's world, judges have spouses with careers of their own.  We are not going to impute the career of a spouse -- political or not -- to the judge.  If we did, it would mean that recusals would occur in a huge number of cases.  For example, for years Justice Ginsburg's husband was one of the most prominent tax lawyers in the country.  He certainly had beliefs and interpretations of the tax laws of this country, and whenever a tax issue came before the SCOTUS, the precedent set by that ruling would almost certainly affect Marty Ginsburg's clients.  However, Justice Ginsburg's policy was that she did not recuse herself from all tax cases.  Like all other Justices, she was obligated to recuse herself only if her husband, or one of her husband's clients, was a PARTY to a case before her.  

    •  I agree in principle, but can get pretty crazy. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mindful Nature

      Spouse's complicate matters greatly.

      We can't really forbig a spouse from working, and one person's junket, for example, is another's investigation, sales call, training, etc.

      Think of the fuss some raised over Justice Bader Ginsburg's failure to recuse herself from cases involving companies in which her husband had invested.  There is a point at which the smell becomes too bad to tolerate, but where is it?

      Does it matter if the investment is part of your pension fund?
      A mutual fund?

      If it's only 10 shares? 100?

      Etc.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 01:54:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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