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Senator Kennedy Criticizes Democrats’ Judicial Ethics Bill As “Dangerous”

Senator John Kennedy (R-La.) expressed strong opposition to a new bill proposed by Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats, called the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency (SCERT) Act. During a committee meeting, the Democrats argued that the bill would impose a code of conduct for Supreme Court justices, while Republicans contended that existing ethics rules are already in place and governed by a separate body.

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Opposition and Accusations

Senator Kennedy criticized the bill as a “court-killing machine” and deemed it “dangerous” and “unserious.” He accused his Democratic colleagues of being aware that the bill is not a viable solution but wanting to “make a point” with its proposal. Kennedy argued that the bill would enable anyone, even those with dubious motivations, to file motions demanding the recusal of a Supreme Court Justice.

Democrats’ Intentions and Chairman’s Response

According to Senator Kennedy, the Democrats’ push for this bill serves more as a political statement rather than a genuine attempt to reform the Supreme Court’s ethics. Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., defended the bill’s advancement, stating that the Chief Justice had not addressed ethics reform before the Court’s summer adjournment. Durbin emphasized Congress’s role in enacting the legislation if the Court fails to act.

Credits: @john_kennedy_la / Instagram

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Bill’s Provisions and Next Steps

The SCERT Act, cosponsored by Senators Durbin and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., aims to require Supreme Court justices to adopt a code of conduct, create mechanisms to investigate alleged violations, improve disclosure and transparency, and require justices to explain their recusal decisions to the public. After clearing the committee in a party-line vote, the measure now moves to the full Senate chamber for further consideration.

Conclusion

Senator Kennedy’s criticisms highlight the contentious nature of the proposed Supreme Court ethics bill. While Democrats argue for the need to establish a code of conduct, Republicans believe that current ethics rules are sufficient and that the bill may have ulterior motives. As the bill progresses through the Senate, its chances of success remain uncertain, with Senator Kennedy already expressing skepticism about its potential to gain the required votes for passage.

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