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Senate Passes Bill to Require Online Disclosures, Stock Reports from Federal Judges

The very bill we worked so hard with advocacy partners to get before lawmakers — the Courthouse Ethics and Transparency Act — passed the Senate this evening by unanimous consent.

The bill would require that federal judges file a report with 45 days of their stock sales and purchases, as members of Congress have been required to do for nearly a decade.

It’d also require the judiciary to post judges’ financial disclosure reports within 90 days of the annual deadline and create a searchable online database of the disclosures.

This bill differs from the House version that passed that body in December, 422-4, in that it includes bankruptcy and magistrate judges in addition to Article III judges under the list of those who must file periodic transaction reports and online disclosures (good).

The Senate version also allows the judiciary to delay the creation of the disclosures database if it believes it can’t complete the task in the 180 days, as per an earlier section of the bill. (not so good).

In the end, FTC hopes that the House will take the Senate-passed version, pass it via unanimous consent, and then it’s on to the President’s desk.

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