May 2, 2023

Urgent Reform Needed to Address Supreme Court's Legitimacy Crisis

Nancy Rodriguez,

Washington, DC – The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing later today on Supreme Court ethics reform. American Constitution Society President Russ Feingold released the following statement in anticipation of the hearing:

“ACS applauds the Senate Judiciary Committee’s responsiveness to the latest reporting about the unethical behavior of certain Supreme Court justices by promptly holding today's hearing. It is disappointing that Chief Justice Roberts declined the Committee's invitation to testify at the hearing. His Court's 'emperor has no clothes on' approach to ethics is contributing to the public's plummeting confidence in an institution that relies on public trust for its legitimacy and enforcement of its decisions.

Members of the Supreme Court have repeatedly flaunted existing ethics rules, and the Court has proven itself unwilling or incapable of establishing its own code of ethics. As a result, Congress must act. It must rectify the situation wherein the nine most powerful judges in the country are the only judges not bound by a code of ethics. Congress has a duty to check the Court by rigorously investigating violations of federal law and flagrant ethics lapses and moving to require the Court to establish a binding code of ethics. Today's hearing is a recognition of the urgent reform needed to address our highest court's legitimacy crisis."


The American Constitution Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan legal organization. Through a diverse nationwide network of progressive lawyers, law students, judges, scholars, advocates, and many others, our mission is to support and advocate for laws and legal systems that strengthen our democratic legitimacy, uphold the rule of law, and redress the founding failures of our Constitution and enduring inequities in our laws in pursuit of realized equality. For more information, visit us at or on Twitter @acslaw.