News   /   Politics

US Supreme Court chief justice calls for judicial independence

S Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts

In his annual year-end report on the federal judiciary, US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has called for judicial independence, urging politicians to abstain from exerting inappropriate influence on the judiciary.

“The Judiciary’s power to manage its internal affairs insulates courts from inappropriate political influence and is crucial to preserving public trust in its work as a separate and coequal branch of government,” Roberts wrote in his 2021 year-end report on the federal judiciary, which was released on Friday.

Roberts has been trying to improve the court's image throughout his tenure and voted twice to uphold former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare achievement, called the Affordable Care Act.

Current Democratic President Joe Biden has come under pressure from the left to seek to add justices after former Republican President Donald Trump nominated three justices during his term, including replacing liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a more conservative justice.

The Republican-led Senate confirmed Trump's picks that blocked Obama from appointing his final nominee, Merrick Garland.

Roberts also addressed a series of reports in The Wall Street Journal about federal judges considering cases involving companies that they or their families have stocks in them. He called on the federal judiciary to consider such matters seriously, but Roberts emphasized that the report suggested there had been few actual ethical lapses.

He wrote that the articles said that “between 2010 and 2018, 131 federal judges participated in a total of 685 matters involving companies in which they or their families owned shares of stock.”

“For most of the judges involved (a total of 83 of the 131), the Journal reported one or two lapses over the nine-year period,” Roberts said in the report. “Those sorts of isolated violations likely entailed unintentional oversights in which the judge’s conflict-checking procedures failed to reveal the financial conflict.”

The judge also wrote that a federal ethics statute requires judges to rescue in any matter which he or she knows of personal financial interest, according to the annual report. 

“Let me be crystal clear: the Judiciary takes this matter seriously,” Roberts wrote. “We expect judges to adhere to the highest standards, and those judges violated an ethics rule.”

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku