Welcome to Original Jurisdiction, the latest legal publication by me, David Lat. You can learn more about Original Jurisdiction by reading its About page, and you can email me at email@example.com. This is a reader-supported publication; you can subscribe by clicking on the button below. Thanks!
Are you having a hard time keeping track of all the Supreme Court ethics episodes? You’re not alone—and some of us have to do it as a job.
With the Court out of session and the justices scattered to the four winds, now is a good time to take stock of the controversies, before the new Term gets underway. And I can think of few better authorities on SCOTUS ethics than Gabe Roth of Fix the Court (FTC), who has spent the better part of the last decade focused on this subject—well before it was en vogue. Indeed, Roth seems to get quoted in practically every article about alleged ethical lapses of the justices.
But Roth and FTC have their critics. From the right, the Wall Street Journal editorial page recently took Fix the Court to task for screwing up its own financial disclosures, despite constantly harping on the justices’ mistakes in this area. The WSJ castigated FTC as a “left-wing outfit” trying to “weaponize ethics and disclosures” in order to “diminish conservative influence on the Court.” Meanwhile, some on the left complain that the organization’s “fixes” or proposed reforms simply aren’t bold enough to deal with what progressives view as the systemic rot permeating One First Street.
In our interview, I pressed Roth on why Fix the Court is viewed as left-wing, despite claiming to be nonpartisan, and on whether we are unfairly judging the justices based on new standards. And then we took a deep dive into all the recent—and some not-so-recent—SCOTUS ethics controversies. If you’ve ever wanted an expert to review all nine justices and score them on their “scandals,” then this episode is for you. Thanks to Gabe for his time, insight, and candor.
Gabe Roth bio, Fix the Court
The Fixes, Fix the Court
Complaint filed over US judge's ‘strange’ Southwest religious liberty training order, by Nate Raymond for Reuters
Prefer reading to listening? For paid subscribers, a transcript of the entire episode appears below.
NexFirm helps Biglaw attorneys become founding partners. To learn more about how NexFirm can help you launch your firm, call 212-292-1000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.