In his annual year-end report, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts stressed the importance of a politically-independent court system, as well as a focus on judicial ethics.
“The Judiciary’s power to manage its internal affairs insulates courts from inappropriate political influence and is crucial to preserving public trust in its work as a separate and coequal branch of government,” Roberts wrote.
Roberts also addressed a Wall Street Journal investigation that alleged 131 federal judges had financial conflicts of interest, saying, “Let me be crystal clear: the Judiciary takes this matter seriously. We expect judges to adhere to the highest standards, and those judges violated an ethics rule.”
Roberts went on to point out that while the pertinent cases made up a very small fraction of all cases handled by federal courts, “this context is not excuse [sic]. We are duty-bound to strive for 100% compliance because public trust is essential, not incidental, to our function.”
The report announced three areas that will receive focused attention in the judicial branch this year: financial conflicts within the judiciary, concerns over inappropriate behavior in the judicial branch, and “judicial assignment and venue for patent cases in federal trial court.”
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: WASHINGTON POST
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