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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Question of Integrity Premieres in Washington

Last night in Washington, Alliance for Justice premiered our latest short documentary film, A Question of Integrity: Politics, Ethics, and the Supreme Court.

A Question of Integrity examines growing concerns about ethically questionable and overtly political behavior by some Supreme Court justices, and explores the need the need to apply the same ethical standards that govern every other judge in the federal court system to the nation's highest court. Viewers are called to action in support of reforms essential to preserve the integrity of our most important legal institution.

The film played to a full room at Washington’s historic E Street Cinema, and was followed by a lively question-and-answer session with Slate Senior Editor Dahlia Lithwick and American University Fellow in Law and Government William Yeomans. (Due to severe weather in the northeast, Congressman Chris Murphy of Connecticut was unable to attend.)

Lithwick and Yeomans took questions from the audience on the film, on questions of recusal surrounding the upcoming health-care case, and on why the issue of judicial ethics matters so much. Several attendees asked whether or not Congressional action on judicial ethics could raise serious separation of powers issues. Yeomans pointed out that the current recusal statute (which does apply to the Supreme Court, though individual justices are the sole determiners of whether or not it applies in each case) was established by Congress, and Lithwick pointed out that the justices could sidestep that point entirely by voluntarily adopting the same Code of Conduct that already applies to every other federal judge.

Alliance for Justice is leading an effort to reform the Court’s ethics rules. To learn more, watch A Question of Integrity online, or click here for more information on judicial ethics.

Premiere events in San Francisco and New York City will be held November and early December. To host a screening in your community, click here.

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