Free Speech For People today launched SCOTUS Reform Now, a comprehensive demand for accountability and reform within the United States Supreme Court to restore its legitimacy and integrity. 

As reported by ProPublica, the Supreme Court has faced a wide range of scandals over the last several years that have tarnished the Court’s reputation. Investigative reporting from ProPublica has exposed that at least two justices have accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts from billionaires. The lack of ethical standards corresponds with Court decisions that have disproportionately harmed vulnerable communities.  It has overturned a 50-year precedent establishing the right to choose, opened the door to racial and LGBTQ+ discrimination, favored corporate interests over those of the public, and twisted freedom of religion into a license for the Christian majority to discriminate against disfavored minorities.

“The Supreme Court faces a crisis of legitimacy,” said Alexandra Flores-Quilty, Campaign Director at Free Speech For People, “Undue influence by billionaires and a lack of ethical standards threaten the Court’s integrity and its ability to uphold the Constitution.”

“Never before in our history have we had a Supreme Court so fully captured by powerful monied interests as the current Court, said Ben Clements, Chairman and Senior Legal Advisor of Free Speech For People.  “At least two of the justices have accepted hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars of gifts from billionaires whose financial and other interests the Court’s decisions invariably benefit.  Six of the justices consistently abdicate their duty to the rule of law and the Constitution, hiding behind a fraudulent theory of “originalism,” to reach results that advance the ideology and interests of billionaires, global corporations, and Christian fundamentalists. And all nine justices – even in the face of these abuses – have endorsed a “new” ethics code that provides no accountability.”  

SCOTUS Reform Now calls for a multi-pronged approach to restore the Court’s balance and legitimacy:

  • Investigate Corruption: Free Speech For People demands the Senate Judiciary Committee subpoena right-wing billionaire Harlan Crow and enforce the existing subpoena against Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society. A full investigation into corruption at the Supreme Court is necessary.
  • Hold Justices Accountable: The campaign urges the House Judiciary Committee to initiate impeachment proceedings against Justice Thomas for alleged abuses of power and Justice Kavanaugh regarding sexual misconduct allegations, perjury, and conspiracy to obstruct congressional proceedings.
  • Expand the Court: To restore balance and ensure the rights of the American people, Congress should pass the Judiciary Act, adding four seats to the Supreme Court.
  • Enforce Ethical Standards: Congress must pass The Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency (SCERT) Act and The Judicial Ethics Enforcement Act of 2024. These bills would establish a code of conduct for justices, improve disclosure, create an Office of Inspector General, and ban substantial gifts to justices. 

“The American people deserve a Supreme Court that reflects the values of our democracy and upholds the Constitution for all,” said Alexandra Flores-Quilty. “We urge Congress and the public to join us in demanding accountability and reform within the Supreme Court. Our democracy depends on it.”

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