As Professor Steven Lubet notes in his article, Stonewalling, Leaks, and Counter-Leaks: SCOTUS Ethics in the Wake of NFIB v. Sebelius, the ethical conduct of Supreme Court Justices has once again gained national attention. This time, however, the context for public outcry is due to actions of an in-house source who released confidential information to a member of the press concerning the voting behavior and the overall sentiments of members of the Court's minority in one of the most significant and controversial rulings of the year: NFIB v. Sebelius (the "Affordable Care Act"). Professor Lubet uses this leaking of significant and confidential information regarding the Court's deliberations in the Affordable Care Act case as a segue into what he believes is a much larger group of issues-those concerning Supreme Court ethics and regulation of the conduct of members of the Court, the need for the adoption by the Court of a comprehensive code of judicial conduct to govern the actions of the Justices, and the need for reform of the Court's recusal process and practices. In my response, I briefly evaluate the validity of a few of Professor Lubet's comments and arguments addressing some of these issues, the viability of his suggestion for adopting a comprehensive code of judicial conduct to govern members of the Court, and his ideas for reforming the Court's recusal process. I conclude by sharing a few of my own thoughts and suggestions on these important issues.
Kevin Hopkins, Supreme Court Leaks and Recusals: A Response to Professor Steven Lubet’s SCOTUS Ethics in the Wake of NFIB v. Sebelius, 47 Val. U. L. Rev. 925 (2013)