Two senators asked the U.S. Marshals service for information on where the U.S. Supreme Court justices would have traveled, saying it would improve transparency.
“The judges of our highest court are subject to the lowest standards of transparency of any senior official across the federal government,” Sens said. Written by Sheldon Whitehouse (DR.I.) and John Kennedy (R-La.). in a letter dated June 4, which was reportedly announced Tuesday. They asked the Marshals service for ‘all documents’ related to trips made by judges over the past ten years.
The U.S. Marshals service may be asked to provide security for judges for domestic travel outside Washington DC. The police usually handle their protection.
According to Kennedy and Whitehouse, the documents will “help us assess how disclosure by members of the court complies with the disclosure standards of the judiciary, and to improve the consistency of disclosure standards in the three branches.”
Whitehouse chairs the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Federal Courts, Supervision, Agency Action and Federal Law, while Kennedy is the Republican on the panel.
The senators noted that Congress is “currently evaluating financial disclosure standards for the receipt of gifts, travel and other remuneration” regarding senior federal government officials. Their letter was also sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland, whose agency oversees the U.S. Marshals Service, and U.S. Marshals Service Director Donald Washington.
Over the years, non-governmental groups have obtained travel records and other information from the Supreme Court, namely after the late Judge Antonin Scalia died in a farm in Texas in 2016. The farm was owned by a lawyer who had previous cases with the Supreme Court.
In February, Whitehouse and Senator Lindsey Graham (RS.C.) send a letter to Supreme Court Justice John Roberts urging the Supreme Court to bring the financial disclosure requirements into line with other branches of government, according to a news release.
“Following the adoption of the 1989 Ethics Reform Act,” the release reads, “Congress and the executive have implemented strong disclosure requirements for officials’ income, gifts and remuneration from outside.”
The release further noted that the “judiciary in turn accepted significantly less stringent guidelines and did not make disclosure information about legal persons readily available to the public.”
A Whitehouse spokesman told RollCall that Roberts did not respond to their letter.
About a decade ago, Roberts claimed that Congress did not have the constitutional authority to impose a code of ethics on the Supreme Court. According to him, the court has “no reason to adopt the code of conduct as the definitive source of ethical guidance.” This came after former president Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) And other Democrats sent a letter about a code of ethics.
The Epoch Times contacted the Supreme Court for comment.