- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Watchdog groups are calling for ethics rules for the Supreme Court after news broke this week that Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s wife made millions as a recruiter for law firms by placing lawyers at firms that sometimes had business before the court.

Kendal Price, a Boston lawyer who used to work with Jane Roberts, wife of the chief justice, sent a letter to Congress and the Justice Department raising concerns over her work, suggesting it posed ethics problems, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

“I do believe that litigants in U.S. courts, and especially the Supreme Court, deserve to know if their judges’ households are receiving six-figure payments from the law firms,” Mr. Price reportedly wrote.

In response to the report, Patricia McCabe, a spokesperson for the high court, told The Times that all justices were “attentive to ethical constraints.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, shared the article on Twitter, writing: “Example #4,394 of why the Supreme Court needs a binding code of ethics.”

The criticisms come after many on the left have targeted Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife, Virginia Thomas, over her communications with Trump administration officials about the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. 

Citizens for Ethics, a government watchdog group, called the latest report from The Times “another Supreme Court ethics scandal.”

And Fix the Court, an advocacy group calling for increased transparency surrounding the judiciary, used The Times’ revelation to renew its demand for ethics rules for Supreme Court justices. 

“The point of a code is to set consistent expectations for how justices will behave & the norms of ethical conduct. These types of articles raise Qs a code could answer,” the group tweeted.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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