The U.S. Supreme Court is setting an ethics code for its justices for the first time, as criticism grows over wealthy donors giving gifts and trips to some justices.
In an unsigned statement, the judges said that although there are no formal guidelines, they have long adhered to certain standards.
“In recent years, however, the lack of a Code has led to the misconception that the judges of this Court, unlike all other jurists in this country, do not consider themselves bound by any moral rules,” they wrote. “In order to dispel this, misunderstanding, we are publishing this Code, which in large part represents a codification of the principles we have long viewed as guiding our conduct.”
Public trust in the court declined as news emerged that Judge Clarence Thomas had accepted gifts and travel from Republican donor Harlan Crowe. Others, including Justice Samuel Alito, also faced criticism.
This story will be updated.