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H.R. 862 (112th): Supreme Court Transparency and Disclosure Act of 2011


The text of the bill below is as of Mar 1, 2011 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


I

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 862

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 1, 2011

(for himself and Mr. Weiner) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To apply to the justices of the Supreme Court the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, to establish certain procedures with respect to the recusal of justices, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Supreme Court Transparency and Disclosure Act of 2011.

2.

Code of Conduct

(a)

Applicability

The Code of Conduct for United States Judges adopted by the Judicial Conference of the United States shall apply to the justices of the United States Supreme Court to the same extent as such Code applies to circuit and district judges.

(b)

Enforcement

The Judicial Conference shall establish procedures, modeled after the procedures set forth in chapter 16 of title 28, United States Code, under which—

(1)

complaints alleging that a justice of the Supreme Court has violated the Code of Conduct referred to in subsection (a) may be filed with or identified by the Conference;

(2)

such complaints are reviewed and investigated by the Conference; and

(3)

further action, where appropriate, is taken by the Conference, with respect to such complaints.

(c)

Submission to Congress; effective date

(1)

Submission to congress

The Judicial Conference shall, not later than the 180th day after the date of the enactment of this Act, submit to Congress the procedures established under subsection (b).

(2)

Effective date

Such procedures shall take effect upon the expiration of the 270-day period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act.

3.

Recusal of justices

(a)

Disclosures by justices

(1)

Self disqualification

In any case in which a justice of the Supreme Court disqualifies himself or herself in a proceeding under section 455 of title 28, United States Code, the justice shall disclose in the public record of the proceeding the reasons for the disqualification.

(2)

Denial of disqualification motion

If a justice of the Supreme Court denies a motion brought by a party to a proceeding before the Court that the justice should be disqualified in the proceeding under section 455 of such title, the justice shall disclose in the public record of the proceeding the reasons for the denial of the motion.

(b)

Process for determining recusal

The Judicial Conference of the United States shall establish a process under which, if a disqualification motion has been denied as described in subsection (a)(2) and the party making the motion seeks further review of the motion, other justices or judges of a court of the United States (as defined in section 451 of title 28, United States Code), among whom retired justices and senior judges eligible for assignment under section 294 of title 28, United States Code, may be included, shall decide whether the justice with respect to whom the motion is made should be so disqualified.

(c)

Submission to Congress; effective date

(1)

Submission to congress

The Judicial Conference shall, not later than the 180th day after the date of the enactment of this Act, submit to Congress the process established under subsection (b).

(2)

Effective date

Such process shall take effect upon the expiration of the 270-day period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act.