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Does the USSC Court Clerk Have a Code of Ethics About Giving Advice?

Original Hulda Clark
Hulda Clark Cleanses

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Published: 54 days ago
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Does the USSC Court Clerk Have a Code of Ethics About Giving Advice?

Doing some research on this, I found the following... article:

Does the Supreme Court have ethics rules?

  Law Clerks and Their Influence at the US Supreme Court:

Comments on Recent Works by Peppers and Ward [pdf]

  • The exact duties and responsibilities of the clerks are determined by their hiring justice. However, on the Court today, all the clerks have an important role in reviewing the thousands of petitions for certiorari that come before the Court each year (see, e.g., Perry 1991). Since 1972, most of the justices have “pooled” their clerks for this purpose, meaning that one clerk at the Court reviews all the materials for a petition for a writ of certiorari and then writes a memo for the entire Court on the case. Most clerks write at least five of these “cert. pool memos” each week (Ward and Weiden 2006, 125). First Justice Thurgood Marshall, then Justice Stevens, and now Justice Alito have not participated in the cert. pool, thus ensuring that each petition for a writ of certiorari is read by at least two clerks. The cert. pool memo allows the justices to avoid reading petitions for certiorari that appear to have no merit or raise no important issues for the Court (see Perry 1991). A clerk’s work for his or her justice also generally includes writing bench memos on the cases that the Court has accepted for full review, preparing possible questions for oral arguments, doing legal research, and perhaps even writing a first draft of the justice’s opinion in a case. The clerks can also serve as liaisons or ambassadors to the other justices’ chambers, helping the justices gather intelligence on the preferences of their colleagues on any given issue.
  • The Court is so secretive about its procedures that it has refused to release to the public the written code of conduct that law clerks must follow.
  • Peppers and Ward have noted that many justices and their clerks have interpreted the Code to forbid them from ever discussing not only deliberations over specific cases, but also any broader information about the duties and responsibilities that the justices have assigned to their law clerks.

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