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March 2008

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This article is in the news archives --- for current news go to the Third Branch News.

 

Request for Public Comment on Proposed Revisions To Code of Conduct for United States Judges


The Committee on Codes of Conduct of the Judicial Conference seeks public comment on proposed revisions to the Code of Conduct for United States Judges. The proposed revisions are based in large part on revisions adopted by the American Bar Association in February 2007, amending the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct.

Comments may be submitted to the Committee on Codes of Conduct by e-mail at the following address: codecomments@ao.uscourts.gov. In order to be considered, comments must be received by April 18, 2008. All commenters must identify themselves and their institutional affiliation, if any.

The proposed revised Code of Conduct for United States Judges is on-line at www.uscourts.gov in two versions. The first version at www.uscourts.gov/library/Proposed_Revised_Code_02-29-08.pdf, is the proposed new Code of Conduct in its entirety. The second version, at www.uscourts.gov/library/Current_Code_with_Markup_03-03-08.pdf, highlights the revisions proposed to the current Code of Conduct.

The Code of Conduct was initially adopted by the Judicial Conference in 1973. It was based on the Model Code of Judicial Conduct approved by the ABA in 1972, but reflected a number of modifications necessary to adapt the provisions to the federal Judiciary. The Judicial Conference adopted substantial revisions to the Code of Conduct in 1992, stemming from the ABA's approval of a revised Model Code of Judicial Conduct in 1990.

Over the last 12 months, the Committee on Codes of Conduct conducted a comprehensive review of the Code of Conduct prompted by the ABA's adoption of its newly revised Model Code in February 2007. The Committee concluded that the ABA Model Code reflects many valuable clarifications, expansions, updates, and improvements, which the Committee proposes to incorporate into the Code of Conduct, although the Committee does not propose to adopt the overall organization and numbering format of the revised ABA Model Code.

Any public comments received may, at the Committee's discretion, be publicly disclosed on the Judiciary's website, www.uscourts.gov. At the close of the comment period, the Committee on Codes of Conduct will review and analyze the comments received and consider further revisions, as necessary. The Committee plans to forward its final recommendations to the Judicial Conference for consideration at its September 2008 meeting.