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Supreme Court justices' perks revealed in new report

Joshua Eaton, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in Political News

In a follow-up email, Lynn T. Waters, the university's vice president of communications, assured Daluge that any money raised would "go toward covering costs of this particular event."

Supreme Court justices have few formal limits outside the annual financial disclosure requirement. Other federal judges are bound by the Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges, which places strict limits on honorariums, gifts and political activity. But the code does not apply to Supreme Court justices.

The justices have, at times, said that they will abide by the code nonetheless. Fix the Court did find that Supreme Court staff often told university officials that the justices could not participate in fundraisers, as Breyer's assistant did.

But justices have drawn fire for actions that would run afoul of the code in the past -- including for speeches to groups of conservative donors and negative comments about political candidates.

The Supreme Court, like Congress and most of the White House, is also exempt from the federal Freedom of Information Act, which requires executive branch agencies to make their records publicly available.

Supreme Court justices' financial disclosures are also less frequent and detailed than those for members of Congress.

 

"Much of what we uncovered would be divulged under the disclosure rules for most state and federal officials, which the federal judiciary has avoided to this point," Roth said in a statement. "Instead, we're left wondering how often the justices are behaving unethically."

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