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Alexandra Petri on a Supreme code of ethics

Alexandra Petri on a Supreme Court ethics code
Alexandra Petri on a Supreme Court ethics code 02:29

Commentary by Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri, author of "Alexandra Petri's U.S. History: Important American Documents (I Made Up)":

You know how it's a bad sign generally if your neighbors start saying, "Yikes! Maybe it's time we had a policy about not welcoming grizzly bears to the pool!"? It just implies the situation is already out of hand. 

Well, more and more people are saying, "Yikes! Maybe it's time the Supreme Court adopted some kind of code of ethics!"

On the one hand, I love the Supreme Court! I love that they don't have term limits, and it's a comfort knowing that the people who could - at any moment - take my rights away on a whim at least have to wear little matching outfits while they do it.

There is currently no code of ethics to which the nine justices hold themselves. And that might be a problem!  CBS News

Still, I think they should maybe get a code. So does the Senate.

First, objectively and as a serious matter, I think a code of ethics would be good to have. I found their statement that they don't technically have a code but have often found themselves inspired by the concept of having a code to be … unsatisfactory. 

W.W. Norton

Second, I think the specific code they would have to get now would be objectively very funny. "If somebody who owns a Nazi tea kettle wants to give you free yacht and plane rides and buy your mother's house, you do in fact have to disclose it." Just a weird thing for the highest court in the land to have to specify! 

And to me, those are always the best codes, when people have to specify something that makes you go … huh.

And finally, I think a code would be a good idea for building empathy. For years the justices have just been going around living their lives in accordance with what they thought were "the rules," and then suddenly they're going to have to live by other "rules" they did not select and don't agree with?

Imagine living like that! Under this Supreme Court!

I say, give them a taste of their own medicine.

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Story produced by Robert Marston. Editor: Chad Cardin. 

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