Wednesday, September 20, 2006

New disclosure requirements for federal judges

The New York Times reports today about the new disclosure rules for federal judges. Judges will be prohibited from accepting reimbursement for attending a private seminar unless its sponsor has filed a public disclosure statement on the content of the program and all sources of financing. Judges will have 30 days to report their attendance at such seminars, and both the judges and the seminars reports will be available on judicial Web sites.

These new disclosure requirements have been adopted by the Judicial Conference, in part, because of complaints that two organizations that have provided free trips to hundreds of federal judges received large contributions from tobacco, oil and other corporate interests. An article about these complaints can be found here.

Despite my blog name I agree with Justice Scalia that "if it is reasonable to think that a [judge] can be bought so cheap, the nation is in deeper trouble than I had imagined." Notwithstanding, transparency is a good thing and Chief Justice Roberts should be applauded for his role in this development. Of course, these new rules do not apply to members of the Supreme Court who have no written ethical rules.

No comments: