SCOTUS adopts new ethics code, Sotomayor's book empire under the gun

November 15, 2023

Buckling to pressure from the left, the U.S. Supreme Court recently announced that it has adopted a new ethics code. 

While some perceived "ethics" concerns appear to be part of an ongoing retaliatory attack from Democrats who can't stand the idea that the high court is dominated by conservative justices, other concerns are valid and worth tackling.

One of those cases involves Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who has become filthy rich from the sales of the many books she's published over the years.

The problem revolves around the allegations that her staffers prodded various schools at which the justice spoke to purchase the books.

What happened?

The Associated Press reported earlier this year:

Sotomayor’s staff has often prodded public institutions that have hosted the justice to buy her memoir or children’s books, works that have earned her at least $3.7 million since she joined the court in 2009. Details of those events, largely out of public view, were obtained by The Associated Press through more than 100 open records requests to public institutions.

The primary concern is that her staffers, funded by the U.S. taxpayer's dime, did promotional work to push her book sales, which is a venture separate from her duties on the bench.

Other government officials are not allowed to take on such ventures, but the Supreme Court doesn't have a formal code of conduct that would prevent such actions.

Kedric Payne, a former deputy chief counsel at the Office of Congressional Ethics and current general counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, said at the time that it's one of the reasons why an ethics code should be implemented.

"This is one of the most basic tenets of ethics laws that protects taxpayer dollars from misuse," Payne said.

He added, "The problem at the Supreme Court is there’s no one there to say whether this is wrong."

New code adopted

SCOTUS announced the adoption of a new ethics code this week, which sparked immediate controversy and backlash mostly from the left, who claim it's not strong enough.

High-profile Republicans, such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), defended the high court, insisting that Democrats pressuring it into adopting a new ethics code is simply another method to delegitimize it.

"Democrat attacks on the Supreme Court won't stop. What they are doing has nothing to do with ethics. Rather, it has everything to do with delegitimizing the Supreme Court, because it is the one part of the federal government they cannot control," Cruz wrote on X. 

Only time will tell if the new code is enforced.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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