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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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  •  Abe Fortas did not step down because of (2+ / 0-)
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    Navy Vet Terp, bobinson

    a "paid lecture circuit."  He was essentially practicing law for clients  -- he accepted a retainer from a specific client -- while he was on the Court.  THAT was why he stepped down.

    And federal judges are now prohibited from receiving fees for speaking -- honorarium -- if I recall correctly.  They are allowed to have their expenses paid for going to speak before groups, and most of them do that.  As you might imagine, the conservative justices speak before right-leaning groups, and the liberal justices (like Justice Ginsburg) speak before left-leaning groups.  

    •  Calling them "fees for speaking" (2+ / 0-)
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      VClib, smartalek

      rather complicates the analysis. The parent comment was about lectures. Lectures are generally considered teaching. Compensation for teaching is permitted but capped by statute. IIRC, most of the justices typically collect 15-20K per year doing so, usually in summer courses but not always.

      Honoraria for speeches by covered judges outside the teaching context are either declined or directed to a charity, and are limited to $2,000. However, it is the Ethics in Government Act that forbids honoraria, not the Code of Conduct that many now want to apply to SCOTUS as described in the diary. Canon 4(H) of the Code of Conduct expressly permits reasonable compensation for law-related extrajudicial speeches, as well as expenses. That's one reason the judges periodically attempt to get the EIGA modified.

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