Supreme Court Faces Increasing Scrutiny From Congress – NY Times
Congressional Democrats are intensifying their critical focus on the Supreme Court in the wake of accusations of leaked decisions and improper outside influence, calling for new ethics rules to be imposed on the justices. Senate Democrats say they are also considering taking a closer look at the court after disclosures of a concerted campaign by evangelical Christians to develop deep contacts among some conservative justices as they weighed major rulings on religious rights, abortion and contraception.
Confidence in the Supreme Court has been falling and the justices’ approval ratings recently hit an all time low. Meanwhile, a vast majority of the American public supports Supreme Court ethics reform. The Court has failed to voluntarily address the very real and understandable concerns Americans have about the judiciary, so now, Congress must quickly step in and address the eroding public trust in our courts. It is well past time for the justices to be held accountable, and the SCERT Act will show the American people that the House is serious about common sense judicial ethics reforms. – Demand Justice
See some of the actions by Supreme Court justices that led up the demand for ethics reform with this infographic.
Renegade Supreme Court needs Code of Ethics
Virginia Thomas has gotten significant attention for operating a consulting business that reportedly includes conservative activist groups with interest in Supreme Court decisions as clients. Her husband, Justice Clarence Thomas, has chosen not to reveal any of his wife’s clients, let alone how much they contributed to the Thomas family coffers, dating back to when her consulting business was founded. – Politico
Before President Donald Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, he had a lot of debt. In May 2017, he reported owing between $60,004 and $200,000 on three credit cards and a loan against his retirement account. By the time Trump nominated him to the high court in July 2018, those debts had vanished. Overall, his reported income and assets didn’t seem sufficient to pay off all that debt while maintaining his upper-class lifestyle: an expensive house in an exclusive suburban neighborhood, two kids in a $10,500-a-year private school, and a membership in a posh country club reported to charge $92,000 in initiation fees. His financial disclosure forms have raised more questions than they’ve answered, leading to speculation about whether he’s had a private benefactor and what sorts of conflicts that relationship might entail. – Mother Jones
Mr. Schenck told The New York Times he received notice of a 2014 ruling in a landmark religious rights case from a financial patron who had a social relationship with Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., who wrote the opinion. Justice Alito has denied disclosing the decision. Mr. Schenck also said he had engineered a plan to have wealthy donors try to ingratiate themselves with the justices as a way to build relationships with them and encourage their conservative views.
EXTREME COURT cartoon
Demand Justice: Four Steps To Reform Courts
America’s courts aren’t working for everyone. The Supreme Court is dominated by a 6-3 Republican supermajority that is consistently ruling in favor of corporate and partisan interests. Our democracy is at risk from decisions that suppress the right to vote. Our federal and state courts are dominated by former prosecutors and corporate lawyers, and Congress’ failure to adapt the courts to a growing population means Americans can wait years to vindicate their rights in court. Demand Justice is a progressive movement to restore ideological balance and legitimacy to our nation’s courts. Demand Justice advocates for the SCERT ACT and to:
- Restore balance by adding four seats to the Supreme Court.
- Depoliticize the Supreme Court by creating term limits for justices.
- Create a binding code of ethics for Supreme Court justices.
- Improve access to justice and diversity by adding judges to lower courts.
Use GIFs to get people’s attention
An infographic presents information visually in an easy to understand manner. It is not meant to provide all the information, but instead to be a launching pad to more details. This infographic was designed in a few hours with the free Infogram app, free iMovie app and cartoons from Political Cartoons.
- A cartoon about the justices from was converted to a GIF using iMovie.
- This was inserted into the infographic along with links to articles from:
- Reform the Courts – Demand Justice
- Why Won’t John Roberts Accept an Ethics Code for Supreme Court Justices? – Slate
- Supreme Court Faces Increasing Scrutiny From Congress After Leaks – NY Times
- The Supreme Court Will Always Find a Way to Give Itself a Pass – Balls & Strikes
- Mouse overs let readers get more information on a topic by hovering their mouse over the image
- The infographic automatically adjusts to display well on phones, tablets and laptops.
- It is saved online and can be updated with new information.
- The infographic can be printed and shared as a JPEG or embedded in a website.
Take Away: Make it easier for more people understand the urgent for a Supreme Court Code of Ethics with an infographic.
DISCLAIMER: ALTHOUGH THE DATA FOUND IN THIS BLOG AND INFOGRAPHIC HAS BEEN PRODUCED AND PROCESSED FROM SOURCES BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE, NO WARRANTY EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED CAN BE MADE REGARDING THE ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS, LEGALITY OR RELIABILITY OF ANY SUCH INFORMATION. THIS DISCLAIMER APPLIES TO ANY USES OF THE INFORMATION WHETHER ISOLATED OR AGGREGATE USES THEREOF.
Infographic in printable form
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