Will Supreme Court Provide More Transparency in 2020?

Washington DC-- The Supreme Court’s role in a bitterly divided Washington and nation may be more important than ever, yet basic details about how the court operates remain obscured.

The court isn’t subject to the federal Freedom of Information Act. Justices aren’t bound by most ethics rules that apply to all other federal judges. The court’s arguments aren’t televised.

The justices decide for themselves how much to tell the public about travel plans, speaking engagements or health issues.

They typically don’t disclose their reasoning when they decide to sit out cases that may pose conflicts of interest.

There are calls for the justices to adopt an ethics code, enhance disclosure of travel and other gifts and allow broader access to court proceedings.