Supreme Court justices face less stringent disclosure rules: analysis

Supreme Court justices face less stringent disclosure rules: analysis
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Supreme Court justices are not required to file financial disclosure reports online, follow a specific code of conduct or disclose any privately funded trips they take, according to a new report from Fix the Court.
 
The analysis, titled “Supreme Court, Inferior Oversight,” details the extent to which high court justices face less stringent rules than other federal judges, lawmakers, congressional staff and executive branch officials.
 
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"Already this year, with the mystery surrounding Antonin Scalia's trip to Texas and the backlash following Ruth Bader Ginsburg's comments on the presidential race, the public has become more cognizant of the unquestionably lax rules for Supreme Court justices," Gabe Roth, executive director of Fix the Court, said in a statement.
 
Scalia was on a hunting trip to Texas when he died in February. The incident provoked questions about who paid for the trip and whether justices should be required to disclose all expense-paid trips. 
 
Ginsburg made headlines last month when she criticized GOP presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump tweets ICE will begin removing 'millions' of undocumented migrants MORE. The comments, which Ginsburg later said she regretted, outraged Republicans, given the expectation of objectivity from Supreme Court justices.
 
Fix the Court’s report noted that the STOCK Act requires members of Congress and top executive branch officials to publicly report their stock transactions within 45 days, but Supreme Court justices don’t need to disclose a transaction for a year and a half.
 
The group recommended Congress require the justices to follow the reporting requirements of the STOCK Act, make financial disclosures available online and consider appointing a judicial inspector general.
 
It also called for justices to be required to report their reimbursed travel in real time and create their own code of conduct.           
 
“Removing the unnecessary disparity between the rules adhered to by the justices and those followed by officials in the other branches has no inherent partisan bent and no party would benefit from enacting these improvements,” Roth said in the report.