CV NEWS FEED // In the midst of Democratic and leftist attacks on pro-life Justice Clarence Thomas, the Supreme Court on Monday unveiled a “Code of Conduct” signed by him and the eight other justices.
“The undersigned Justices are promulgating this Code of Conduct to set out succinctly and gather in one place the ethics rules and principles that guide the conduct of the Members of the Court,” the Supreme Court stated at the beginning of the Code:
For the most part these rules and principles are not new. The Court has long had the equivalent of common law ethics rules. The absence of a Code, however, has led in recent years to the misunderstanding that the Justices of this Court, unlike all other jurists in this country, regard themselves as unrestricted by any ethics rules. To dispel this misunderstanding, we are issuing this Code, which largely represents a codification of principles that we have long regarded as governing our conduct.
Canon 3 of the Code states that justices “should perform the duties of office fairly, impartially, and diligently.”
The Canon states:
A Justice should not be swayed by partisan interests, public clamor, or fear of criticism. A Justice should participate in matters assigned, unless disqualified, and should maintain order and decorum in judicial proceedings. A Justice should be patient, dignified, respectful, and courteous to all individuals with whom the Justice deals in an official capacity. A Justice should not engage in behavior that is harassing, abusive, prejudiced, or biased. A Justice should not retaliate against those who report misconduct.
“The Code of Conduct comes after intense pressure from liberal activist groups for the justices to implement an ethics code,” wrote The Daily Signal’s Mary Margaret Olohan. “Those activists particularly have taken aim at Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, accusing him of violating the court’s ethics rules.”
Olohan added that an additional note of the Code “states that the justices must also comply with the U.S. Constitution, with current laws relating to judicial ethics, and with current judicial conference regulations on things such as gifts, outside earned income, honoraria, and financial disclosures.”
This specific provision seemed to directly address the nature of most of the allegations levied against Thomas.
As CatholicVote reported in April:
Justice Thomas, who, in his own words, is “decidedly and unapologetically Catholic,” was part of the 6-3 majority decision in Dobbs v. Jackson, which overturned Roe v. Wade last year. He also wrote the majority opinion in NIFLA v. Becerra, the 2018 case that struck down a California state law that forced pro-life pregnancy resource centers to publicly promote and advertise abortions.
Leftist attacks against Thomas intensified after the leak of the Court’s draft Dobbs opinion in May 2022. On the day the Dobbs decision was announced the following month, a pro-abortion mob ambushed the justice outside of his home.
Earlier this year, the left-wing news source ProPublica pushed a narrative that Thomas and his wife “accepted gifts” from a wealthy couple with whom the Thomases are longtime friends.
Thomas responded to the allegations by simply pointing out that he and his wife enjoy the other couple’s company and regularly go on vacations with them.
Months after ProPublica’s attacks, it was revealed that the “experts” the news outlets cited to make their case collectively gave thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates and leftist causes.
Last week, the allegations against Thomas sparked a fiery exchange on the Senate floor between Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, D-IL, and Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-TN.