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Supreme Court justices are ‘in a fact-free, ethics-free zone’

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that Supreme Court justices are “in a fact-free zone as well as an ethics-free zone.”

Whitehouse said, “The work we do on ethics in court should be easy, and yet it is not; it’s also partisan. So I think the first step is going to be for the judicial conference, the other justices, to put some constraints around the behavior of the Supreme Court and to treat the Supreme Court like all other federal judges are treated, and that happens at the within the judicial system. ”

Anchor Chuck Todd said: ‘The CJ has to make that decision though, right? The separation of powers, if, I mean, it’s established enough, Congress can’t make a law that does that, can it? »

Whitehouse said, “No, it’s absolutely possible.”

Todd said, “Well, that doesn’t mean it’s constitutional.”

Whitehouse said: ‘Yes it does. That means it’s constitutional because the laws we’re talking about right now are actually laws passed by Congress. The ethics reporting law that is at the heart of the Clarence Thomas ethics reporting scandal is a law passed by Congress.

He continued: “When Judge Thomas failed to recuse himself from the January 6 inquest which revealed his wife’s communications, he argued that it was OK – he had no idea that ‘she was involved in insurgent activities.”

Whitehouse added: “It is a question of fact. This is something that could and should have been determined by neutral scrutiny, and then we would all know. And so, the problem with the Supreme Court is that it is in a fact-free zone as well as an ethics-free zone.

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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