Many have been dismayed to learn of the recent investigation into Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s unethical behavior.
This investigation has revealed that she has used her taxpayer-funded staff to pressure universities and institutions to buy hundreds or thousands of copies of her books in advance of planned speeches.
While this type of conduct is prohibited for members of Congress and other federal government employees, the Supreme Court is exempt from such laws.
The Associated Press recently obtained hundreds of pages of documents from public organizations across America which have hosted Justice Sotomayor since she took her seat on the court in 2009.
In many cases, her staffers were found encouraging administrators to purchase copies of her autobiography and children’s books – something that would be against federal ethics laws if it were done by any other member of Congress or federal employee.
Despite this, the court believes there is no conflict with their standards as long as “attendees are required to purchase books in order to attend” an event involving Justice Sotomayor.
Kedric Payne, a former deputy chief counsel at the Office Of Congressional Ethics commented on these findings saying “This is one of the most basic tenets of ethics laws that protects taxpayer dollars from misuse… The problem at the Supreme Court is there’s no one there to say whether this is wrong.”
The evidence uncovered during this investigation suggests that questionable ethical guidance has been given both conservative and liberal justices who do not face term limits and are rarely admonished formally by elected lawmakers.
It appears Americans’ trust in our nation’s highest court has fallen drastically, reaching an all-time low since Gallup began polling in 1973 – only 25 percent express that they have a great deal of confidence in it.