S. 575: Judicial Transparency and Ethics Enhancement Act of 2013

113th Congress, 2013–2015. Text as of Mar 14, 2013 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO and Cato Institute Deepbills

II

113th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 575

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 14, 2013

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to theCommittee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To amend title 28, United States Code, to provide an Inspector General for the judicial branch, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Judicial Transparency and Ethics Enhancement Act of 2013 .

2.

Inspector general for the judicial branch

(a)

Establishment and Duties

Part III of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

60

INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR THE JUDICIAL BRANCH

Sec.

1021. Establishment.

1022. Appointment, term, and removal of Inspector General.

1023. Duties.

1024. Powers.

1025. Reports.

1026. Whistleblower protection.

1021.

Establishment

There is established for the judicial branch of the Government theOffice of Inspector General for the Judicial Branch(in this chapter referred to as theOffice).

1022.

Appointment, term, and removal of Inspector General

(a)

Appointment

The head of theOfficeshall be theInspector General, who shall be appointed by theChief Justice of the United Statesafter consultation with the majority and minority leaders of the Senate and theSpeakerandminority leader of the House of Representatives.

(b)

Term

TheInspector Generalshall serve for a term of 4 years and may be reappointed by theChief Justice of the United Statesfor any number of additional terms.

(c)

Removal

TheInspector Generalmay be removed from office by theChief Justice of the United States. TheChief Justiceshall communicate the reasons for any such removal to both Houses of Congress.

1023.

Duties

With respect to the judicial branch, theOfficeshall—

(1)

conduct investigations of alleged misconduct in the judicial branch (other than theUnited States Supreme Court) under chapter 16 that may require oversight or other action within the judicial branch or byCongress;

(2)

conduct investigations of alleged misconduct in theUnited States Supreme Courtthat may require oversight or other action within the judicial branch or byCongress;

(3)

conduct and supervise audits and investigations;

(4)

prevent and detect waste, fraud, and abuse; and

(5)

recommend changes in laws or regulations governing the judicial branch.

1024.

Powers

(a)

Powers

In carrying out the duties of theOffice, theInspector Generalshall have the power to—

(1)

make investigations and reports;

(2)

obtain information or assistance from any Federal, State, or local governmental agency, or other entity, or unit thereof, including all information kept in the course of business by theJudicial Conference of the United States, the judicial councils of circuits, theAdministrative Office of the United States Courts, and theUnited States Sentencing Commission;

(3)

require, by subpoena or otherwise, the attendance and testimony of such witnesses, and the production of such books, records, correspondence, memoranda, papers, and documents, which subpoena, in the case of contumacy or refusal to obey, shall be enforceable by civil action;

(4)

administer to or take from any person an oath, affirmation, or affidavit;

(5)

employ such officers and employees, subject to the provisions oftitle 5, governing appointments in the competitive service, and the provisions ofchapter 51andsubchapter III of chapter 53 of such titlerelating to classification and General Schedule pay rates;

(6)

obtain services as authorized by section 3109of title 5at daily rates not to exceed the equivalent rate for a position at level IV of the Executive Schedule undersection 5315 of such title; and

(7)

the extent and in such amounts as may be provided in advance by appropriations Acts, to enter into contracts and other arrangements for audits, studies, analyses, and other services with public agencies and with private persons, and to make such payments as may be necessary to carry out the duties of theOffice.

(b)

Chapter 16 matters

TheInspector Generalshall not commence an investigation undersection 1023(1)until the denial of a petition for review by the judicial council of the circuit undersection 352(c) of this titleor upon referral or certification to theJudicial Conference of the United Statesof any matter undersection 354(b) of this title.

(c)

Limitation

TheInspector Generalshall not have the authority to—

(1)

investigate or review any matter that is directly related to the merits of a decision or procedural ruling by any judge, justice, or court; or

(2)

punish or discipline any judge, justice, or court.

1025.

Reports

(a)

When To Be Made

TheInspector Generalshall—

(1)

make an annual report to theChief Justiceand toCongressrelating to the activities of theOffice; and

(2)

make prompt reports to theChief Justiceand toCongresson matters that may require action by theChief JusticeorCongress.

(b)

Sensitive Matter

If a report contains sensitive matter, theInspector Generalmay so indicate andCongressmay receive that report in closed session.

(c)

Duty To Inform Attorney General

In carrying out the duties of theOffice, theInspector Generalshall report expeditiously to theAttorney Generalwhenever theInspector Generalhas reasonable grounds to believe there has been a violation of Federal criminal law.

1026.

Whistleblower protection

(a)

In General

No officer, employee, agent, contractor, or subcontractor in the judicial branch may discharge, demote, threaten, suspend, harass, or in any other manner discriminate against an employee in the terms and conditions of employment because of any lawful act done by the employee to provide information, cause information to be provided, or otherwise assist in an investigation regarding any possible violation of Federal law or regulation, or misconduct, by a judge, justice, or any other employee in the judicial branch, which may assist the Inspector General in the performance of duties under this chapter.

(b)

Civil Action

An employee injured by a violation ofsubsection (a)may, in a civil action, obtain appropriate relief.

.

(b)

Technical and conforming amendment

The table of chapters forpart III of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

60. Inspector General for the judicial branch 1021

.