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Justice Kagan Signals Support for SCOTUS Ethics Code

By Olivia Rae Okun-Dubitsky, FTC intern

Justice Elena Kagan gave a talk at Notre Dame Law School Friday and expressed support for a Supreme Court code of conduct.

In a forum themed “The Future of Democracy,” Justice Kagan suggested “adapt[ing] the code of conduct that the lower courts have” and applying it to the Supreme Court. 

Fix the Court has long held it’s ridiculous that lower court judges have a much more extensive and exacting ethics code than the highest court in the land.

Justice Kagan seems to agree, telling the audience Friday “it would be a good thing for the court” to adopt an ethics code.

This statement comes on the heels of the latest Justice Thomas scandal: this time that he was attending Koch Network donor events. The lower courts’ code prohibits judges from participation in political and politically adjacent fundraisers.

Justice Kagan stated that a code of conduct “would help with our compliance with the rules and I think go far in persuading other people that we are adhering to the highest standards of conduct,” something certainly necessary as trust in the Court waivers

And it seems that Justice Kagan is not alone in her support for a SCOTUS code of conduct, as she referenced Justice Kavanaugh’s recent statement that he hopes there “will be some concrete steps taken soon” on new ethics rules.

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