April 26 (Reuters) – Former U.S. appeals court docket choose and outstanding conservative J. Michael Luttig on Wednesday stated he believes U.S. Supreme Courtroom justices ought to “be sure by greater requirements of conduct” than lower-ranked federal judges, including to requires tighter excessive court docket ethics guidelines.
“It’s the titular head of the judicial department of presidency and I imagine that the expectations for Supreme Courtroom justices are rightly greater than for every other public official within the land,” Luttig stated in an interview with Reuters.
Luttig clerked for former Chief Justice Warren Burger on the Supreme Courtroom earlier than serving on the 4th U.S. Circuit Courtroom of Appeals for 15 years. He testified final yr earlier than the congressional choose committee investigating the siege on the U.S. Capitol by former President Donald Trump’s supporters on Jan. 6, 2021.
Talking on the Catholic College of America in Washington on Wednesday, Luttig declined to remark when requested by Reuters about reporting by ProPublica that examined U.S. Justice Clarence Thomas’ relationship with rich Republican donor Harlan Crow, together with actual property purchases and luxurious journey paid for by Crow.
The experiences have raised questions over potential conflicts of curiosity for the justices and the court docket. In contrast to different federal court docket judges, U.S. Supreme Courtroom justices should not sure by a code of conduct.
U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin has scheduled a listening to on the subject for subsequent week. U.S. Supreme Courtroom Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday declined Durbin’s invitation to testify on the listening to.
“Supreme Courtroom ethics reform should occur whether or not the Courtroom participates within the course of or not,” Durbin stated in a press release responding to Roberts’ letter.
“It’s time for Congress to simply accept its duty to determine an enforceable code of ethics for the Supreme Courtroom, the one company of our authorities with out it.”
Reporting by Jacqueline Thomsen; Modifying by David Bario and Stephen Coates
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Jacqueline Thomsen, based mostly in Washington, D.C., covers authorized information associated to coverage, the courts and the authorized career. Observe her on Twitter at @jacq_thomsen and electronic mail her at [email protected].