SCOTUS needs ethics rules

The United States Supreme Court has existed since the founding of the Republic and it has functioned — more or less seamlessly — without needing a policy that lays down ethics requirements for the individuals who interpret the constitutionality of our federal laws.

It damn sure needs one. Justice Clarence Thomas clear and unequivocal conflict of interest involving his participation in decisions involving the 1/6 insurrection have demonstrated the need for the high court to set forth ethics boundaries that justices should never cross.

The Supreme Court is the only federal judicial panel that doesn’t have an ethics policy on the books.

Thomas’s wife, Virginia, is a right-wing political activist who reportedly lobbied the White House chief of staff to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Mrs. Thomas believes the election was “stolen” from Donald J. Trump and has made no effort to conceal her belief in the nut-job conspiracies that continue to thrash around over The Big Lie.

Justice Thomas, meanwhile, has continued to hear cases involving The Big Lie, refusing to recuse himself from any discussion, deliberation and decision-making involving 1/6.

The SCOTUS has no rule prohibiting the justice — the longest-serving member of the court — from taking part. Good grief, man! Is there no clearer demonstration of Justice Thomas’s bias on this matter? The court voted 8 to 1 to require The Donald to turn his presidential papers over to the 1/6 House committee; Justice Thomas cast the only vote in dissent.

Justice Thomas simply needs to resign. Short of a resignation, he needs to recuse himself from anything to do with the insurrection.

And the court should establish a hard-and-fast policy regarding ethical conduct. It can start by demanding that no justice can participate in decisions on cases involving their spouse!