Supreme Court adopts formal code of conduct amid ethics scrutiny

Washington — The Supreme Court on Monday issued for the first time a formal code of conduct ascribed to by all nine justices amid heightened scrutiny of its ethics practices.

The 15-page code of conduct lays out five canons describing the conduct the justices should abide by, including to uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary and avoid the appearance of impropriety of all activities.

In a statement accompanying the new ethics practices, the court said the justices “are promulgating this Code of Conduct to set out succinctly and gather in one place the ethics rules and principles that guide the conduct of the Members of the Court.”

The high court acknowledged that in recent years, the lack of a formal code of ethics has created a “misunderstanding that the Justices of this Court, unlike all other jurists in this country, regard themselves as unrestricted by any ethics rules.”

“To dispel this misunderstanding, we are issuing this Code, which largely represents a codification of principles that we have long regarded as governing our conduct,” the court’s statement continued.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

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