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February 16, 2024

Roberts sidesteps Supreme Court’s ethics controversies in yearly report

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts sidestepped the court’s ethics controversies in his 2018 Year-End Report on the State of the Judiciary. Mary Beth Buchanan, executive director of the Washington-based watchdog group Alliance for Justice, said Roberts' failure to acknowledge recent controversies surrounding Justice Kavanaugh and other justices is "troublesome but not surprising." The report only mentioned ethics in passing, saying that the justices “voluntarily abide by the Code of Conduct for United States Judges" and promise to adhere to the highest standards of public service. Justice Kavanaugh was accused of sexual misconduct by three women during his confirmation process last year, but was ultimately confirmed to the court. Since then, several victims’ rights groups and ethics commentators have called on the Supreme Court to take action, accusing it of ignoring calls for reforms. With the exclusion of any discussion of ethics and the controversies in his report, it appears Roberts is choosing to ignore the growing pressure from ethics watchdogs.