On November 10th, Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas attended the $175 per plate annual fund raising dinner of The Federalist Society as "special guests." According to SourceWatch, the Federalist Society is “a 'conservative legal fellowship' attempting to mold legislation and judicial practice in the United States.” Huffington Post says: “The Federalist Society not only asked the two Supreme Court judges to attend, but placed their names on publicity materials and gave them speaking opportunities as well. Sitting at different tables, Scalia and Thomas were only separated by the table of Paul Clement - the attorney who will likely argue the case against the health care bill in front of the Supreme Court.”
What’s wrong with that? Just this. Their attendance at that dinner was a clear violation of the Code of Conduct of United States Judges which says in part:
CANON 5: A JUDGE SHOULD REFRAIN FROM POLITICAL ACTIVITY
(A) General Prohibitions. A judge should not:
(1) act as a leader or hold any office in a political organization;
(2) make speeches for a political organization or candidate, or publicly endorse or oppose a candidate for public office; or
(3) solicit funds for, pay an assessment to, or make a contribution to a political organization or candidate, or attend or purchase a ticket for a dinner or other event sponsored by a political organization or candidate.
So, how can Scalia and Thomas get away with such a clear violation of the Code of Conduct of United States Judges. Simple, their adherence to this code is voluntary. Most Justices adhere to it anyway. Thomas and Scalia obviously don’t.
Read the entire Code of Conduct here: http://www.uscourts.gov/RulesAndPolicies/CodesOfConduct/CodeConductUnitedStatesJudges.aspx
Read more about Scalia and Thomas at the dinner here:
Read more about The Federalist Society here: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Federalist_Society_for_Law_and_Public_Policy_Studies