In a statement released on Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer criticized the new Supreme Court ethics code for its “glaring omission” on recusal rules for justices who accept money or other gifts from special interests. The new code only requires justices to avoid involvement in matters “where money or other obligations have been given [to them] personally.”
Schumer argued that this code does not go far enough, as it only applies to financial conflicts of interest related to the justices themselves and does not consider potential conflicts that could arise when they accept money from third-party interests. Additionally, Schumer said that the code’s failure to address potential political conflicts housing can lead to justices making decisions that are “overly influenced by political, rather than impartial, consideration.”
The New York Democrat called for the Supreme Court to “acknowledge that potential conflicts of interest can arise even when a justice, or a party related to them, has not accepted money or any other type of gift or obligation.” Schumer demanded that the justices build upon the new ethics code by including a provision mandating the disclosure of all financial and political relationships, and to institute clear recusal provisions to avoid conflicts of interest.