Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is criticizing the Supreme Court for recently approving a new code of ethics for justices, saying it is missing a critical element.
Schumer argued that the court’s new code of ethics, which takes effect in 2021, fails to contain any provision that would bar justices from ruling on cases involving companies in which they own a financial stake.
Schumer said that this financial conflict of interest was a major issue ahead of the court’s ruling in a case involving President Trump’s taxes. He argued that the new code of ethics should address this issue to promote the public’s confidence in the judiciary.
“The glaring omission in the new code of conduct is the glaring lack of a provision requiring recusal from any ruling involving any financial interest that a justice owns,” Schumer said.
The new code of ethics does contain a provision that requires justices to recuse themselves from any cases that involve parties with whom they have a close relationship.
Schumer noted that the issue of conflicts of interests goes beyond the current Supreme Court, and that it should be addressed through a provision that is legally binding.
The Senate Minority Leader called on Congress to pass legislation that would establish a legally binding code of ethics to prevent conflicts of interest among justices.
“It is clear that Congress must act to close this gaping hole in our judicial system. We must pass legislation creating a gernerally applicable recusal requirement for judges and justices with financial conflicts of interest,” Schumer said.