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Federal judicial nominations have become increasingly contentious in recent years, while public confidence in the judiciary is declining. We urge reforms to improve the confirmation process and enhance public trust in our courts.

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Why It Matters

Supreme Court and other federal judi­cial nomin­a­tions have become increas­ingly conten­tious in recent years. The Trump admin­is­tra­tion has filled judge­ships at a historic pace, often steam­rolling the oppos­i­tion. Before this admin­is­tra­tion, many judge seats sat vacant due to Senate obstruc­tion of nomin­ees.

At the same time, the Supreme Court is over­due for ethics reform. The justices of the Supreme Court are the only judges – state or federal – not governed by a code of ethics.

Bren­nan Center for Justice tracks devel­op­ments in the federal judi­ciary, from nomin­a­tions to vacan­cies to breaches of proced­ural norms. We have analyzed the impact of dysfunc­tional nomin­a­tion and confirm­a­tion processes on the courts and looked at how judi­cial vacan­cies affect access to justice. And we support adopt­ing a code of ethics for Supreme Court justices as one step toward restor­ing public faith in our justice system.

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