Chief Justice John Roberts said on Tuesday night that he wanted to reassure the public that Supreme Court Commitment to ‘highest standards of conduct’ appears to address High Court critics In the recent moral controversy.
“We’re continuing to look at what we can do to actually deliver on that commitment, and I believe there are ways to do that, consistent with our status as an independent branch of government under a separation of powers,” Roberts told a gathering in Washington. D.C. audience, for an event hosted by the American Law Society, where he received a medal honoring the late Justice Henry J. Fred.
Roberts’ comments come as members of Congress and public interest groups pressure the court to adopt an ethics code aimed at the justices after it emerged that Justice Clarence Thomas accepted a lavish trip from a Republican donor and engaged in private real estate transactions without disclosure his financial disclosure form.
Roberts’ remarks seemed to suggest that the court may soon have more to say about efforts to increase transparency about ethical practices. But the chief also appeared to underscore his concern that Congress should not meddle in the internal affairs of independent branches of government. Roberts last month declined a request to testify before Congress at a Supreme Court ethics hearing.
Roberts also lamented the state of public discourse Tuesday night, citing a recent incident in which a judge was heckled during a law school appearance and protesters outside the judge’s home needed 24/7 protection.
Roberts said the “hardest decision” he had to make over the past 18 years was whether to “put up fences and barricades around the Supreme Court.”fencing down before the start of the current semester.
However, “inside the court,” he said, “there is reason for optimism,” reiterating that the justices have never spoken out with outrage in private meetings.
“We work on some of the most contentious issues in the country, but we remain colleagues with each other,” he said.
Roberts’ appearance comes as the justices enter one of the most intense times of the year as they race to complete opinions by a self-imposed end-June deadline. The most difficult cases are often saved for last, with justices considering issues such as affirmative action, voting rights and religious liberty.
Moreover, the Supreme Court remains reeling from the drama of the previous term, when the landmark draft opinion that overturned Roe v. Wade was leaked to the media — an event that would spark nationwide protests and leak investigation in the High Court.investigation so far failed to produce any results.