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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.