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Politics Warren, Jayapal demand answers on reported judicial ethics violations

20:16  14 october  2021
20:16  14 october  2021 Source:   thehill.com

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A pair of progressive Democratic lawmakers on Thursday demanded answers from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts following a Wall Street Journal article that found more than a hundred federal judges oversaw cases involving companies in which they held a financial stake.

a close up of a device: Warren, Jayapal demand answers on reported judicial ethics violations © The Hill Warren, Jayapal demand answers on reported judicial ethics violations

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) sent a letter to Roberts, who as chief justice also presides over the Judicial Conference of the United States, asking how the alleged misconduct is being addressed.

"These actions raise questions about the judgment and integrity of these individuals and will justifiably reduce public confidence in the justice system," the lawmakers wrote. "Likewise, they raise questions about whether you have done enough in your role as the presiding officer of the Judicial Conference of the United States to establish and enforce ethics rules and uphold the integrity of the federal judiciary."

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The Supreme Court's public information office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Journal investigation published late last month said 131 judges appear to have violated federal law prohibiting them from hearing cases in which they have a financial interest in one of the parties.

Using data encompassing cases from 2010 to 2020, the newspaper reported that two-thirds of the decisions from those cases benefited the party in which the judge held stock.

Jayapal and Warren have introduced legislation to overhaul the judiciary's ethics requirements, including a ban on judges holding individual stocks. But in Thursday's letter they pushed Roberts to take action now.

"While Congress should act swiftly to pass these reforms, a decisive response from the judiciary is urgent and necessary," the lawmakers wrote. "As the presiding officer of the Judicial Conference of the United States, you are responsible for the policies and administration of the federal courts."

They included a list of questions seeking details on how Roberts intends to respond to the findings and seeking a commitment that he and the other justices will recuse themselves in cases where they have a direct financial interest.

Jayapal and Warren asked Roberts to respond by Oct. 28.

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The ethics panel voted earlier this month to allow the former New York governor to keep the money made from his memoir. The commission's vote Tuesday to investigate its own approval of Cuomo's book deal comes after the Times Union reported that New York Attorney General Letitia James issued a subpoena to the ethics agency for all records on the deal. The attorney general's criminal investigation was launched in April following a referral from Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

usr: 0
This is interesting!