U.S. Supreme Court agrees to adopt its first code of ethics

The Supreme Court adopted its first ethics code on November 13, despite continued criticism over secret trips and gifts from wealthy benefactors to some judges.

The policy, which all nine justices agreed to, does not appear to impose significant new requirements on them, and they even said in an unsigned statement that they have long adhered to ethical standards.

“The absence of a Code, however, has led in recent years to the misunderstanding that the justices of this Court, unlike all other lawyers in this country, regard themselves as unconstrained by any ethical rules,” the justices wrote. “To address this misunderstanding, we are issuing this Code, which largely represents a codification of principles that we have long recognized as guiding our conduct.”