LAKE GENEVA (Wis.) — Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett told attendees of a judicial meeting in Wisconsin, on Monday, that she welcomes public scrutiny. She did not comment on whether the court’s operation should be changed in response to recent criticism.
Barrett didn’t express any opinion or directly address recent calls that the Justices institute a code of conduct.
Barrett answered questions from Diane Sykes (chief judge of the U.S. Circuit Court at a conference that included judges, attorneys, and court personnel. The event took place at a moment when the public’s trust is at a low point in 50 years following a series polarizing decisions, including the overturning Roe v. Wade last year and federal abortion rights.
Barrett stated that “public scrutiny is welcomed.” “Increasing and improving civics education” is welcomed.
Barrett, 51, says the amount and speed of information available have increased the scrutiny of the Supreme Court.
She said, “You don’t wait to read the newspaper in print every day.” “You see things on your phone constantly, and you can even see pictures of people.”
Barrett said that when she worked as a law clerk before the advent of the internet, people would often visit the Supreme Court to ask the justices for directions or pictures because they didn’t know who they were.
Barrett stated that “people just didn’t know who the justices are.” “I like that better.” “I don’t believe justices should be recognized in this sense.”
She said the criticism of the court was nothing new.
Barrett stated that “justice and all judges are public personalities and public criticism is part of the job.” “I’m kind of new to this.”
Barrett served as a circuit court Judge in the 7th Circuit, from 2017 until 2020. She was then appointed to the Supreme Court. She graduated from Notre Dame Law School in northern Indiana and taught there until she was appointed to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Supreme Court.
Barrett stated, “I have been doing it for two years.” “I have a thicker skin and I believe that is what other figures need to do. I believe that’s something all judges must do.”
She says there are both positives and negatives to the court being so prominent in recent news.
She said: “To the extent it involves people in the work and attention of the court, and knows what the courts do and the Constitution says, that is a positive development.” If it creates misperceptions, then that is a bad development.
Barrett’s appearance in public came shortly after Justice Elena Kagan publicly announced her support for a Supreme Court ethics code at a Conference in Oregon, earlier this month. She said that there was no consensus on the way forward among the justices, indicating the high court is struggling with public concerns about its ethics practices.
In July, Justice Samuel Alito said that Congress does not have the authority to impose an ethics code on the Supreme Court during a Wall Street Journal interview. In July, Justice Samuel Alito said that Congress lacks the power to impose a code of ethics on the a href=”https://apnews.com/hub/us-supreme-court” target=”_blank”>Supreme Court/a>.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh was the only justice to have made public comments since June’s end of the court term. He avoided a lot of discussion about ethics when he appeared at a judicial meeting in Minnesota, last month.
The Associated Press has obtained thousands pages of documents showing how justices from across the ideological spectrum have used their position to promote partisan activities — such as speaking at events with politicians — or their own interests, like book sales through college visits. reports from ProPublica revealed that Clarence Thomas had taken lavish vacations with a Republican donor and made a real estate transaction.
Barrett called the court “warm,” and said that justices shared lunches with each other.
She said, “There are warm personal relationships.” She said that there was an effort made to accommodate each other.
Barrett was speaking at a conference for the 7th U.S. Barrett lived in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana when he was a resident of the Circuit Court of Appeals. The meeting took place in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin – a resort town 80 miles north of Chicago.