New Campaign Launches to Demand Increased Accountability from Supreme Court
Fix the Court Launches with New Ads Exposing America’s “Most Powerful. Least Accountable” Government Institution
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Fix the Court – a new national, non-partisan grassroots organization – launched today taking the Supreme Court to task for its lack of accountability and transparency and began pushing Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s eight associate justices to enact basic yet critical reforms to make the court more open and honest.
Today’s announcement includes the release of a new website, FixTheCourt.com, which features examples of how the court has become the most powerful, least accountable part of government in recent years, and two hard-hitting advertisements. The first (below) comprises a series of D.C. Metro station ads calling out America’s “Most Powerful. Least Accountable” government institution.
The second, a 30-second video ad, “Power,” will begin airing next week on Fox and MSNBC in the Washington, D.C., metro area and will appear as pre-roll on numerous highly trafficked websites. All told Fix the Court is investing six figures in its initial ad buy with more to come in the months ahead.
Watch the Television / Online Pre-Roll Ad Here: http://youtu.be/NO2Jr_LOScI
“Power” juxtaposes the Supreme Court’s immense power with its lack of accountability. The voiceover intones, “They’ve told us where we can pray, picked our President, allowed billionaires to buy elections and made choices of life and death. Nine judges appointed for life to a court that ‘makes its own rules’ and has ‘disdain for openness and transparency.’ The Supreme Court – the most powerful, least accountable branch of government. Learn more. Demand change. Go to FixTheCourt.com.”
“Most Americans now view the Supreme Court unfavorably. Is it any wonder? The Supreme Court’s outsized power is only matched by its disdain for transparency,” said Gabe Roth, executive director of Fix the Court. He continued, “But change is coming. Fix the Court is building a movement of Americans fed up with the court’s lack of honesty and openness and we won’t be going anywhere until it cleans up its act.”
Fix the Court is building a grassroots movement starting with five initial areas where change is most needed to make the Supreme Court more accountable to the American people. These reforms include:
- Recusal Reporting: Supreme Court justices should be more thoughtful about potential conflicts of interest that should prevent them from hearing a case and, when there is a conflict, they should publicly explain their reason for recusal on the Supreme Court’s website.
- Better Financial Disclosures: Supreme Court justices should submit consistent, detailed financial disclosure reports each year and publish them online like other top government officials, including the President and members of Congress.
- Code of Ethics: Supreme Court justices should be bound by the same code of ethics that all other federal judges are required to follow.
- Public Appearances: Supreme Court justices should advise the public of their appearances outside of the court, allow media coverage of most of those appearances like other top government officials and be forthcoming about their travel benefactors in their annual disclosure reports.
- Media and Public Access: Supreme Court justices should grant the media and the public greater access to oral arguments and opinion announcements through the live broadcast of those events and shouldn’t prevent the public from congregating or demonstrating on the plaza in front of the building.
Recent polling from McLaughlin & Associates and Democracy Corps found widespread support for many of the reforms listed above. In fact, most enjoyed 70-80 percent support from conservatives, progressives and independents alike.