President Biden Signs Judicial Ethics Law Bolstering Stock Disclosures

President Biden Signs Judicial Ethics Law Bolstering Stock Disclosures.

Supreme Court justices, federal judges now required to promptly report their finances; legislation comes after WSJ investigation

WASHINGTON—President Biden signed into law on Friday a bill that requires federal judges and Supreme Court justices for the first time to promptly disclose stock purchases and sales and post their financial disclosure reports online in a publicly accessible, searchable database.

The law now will allow litigants and the public to determine more promptly whether judges have failed to recuse themselves from a case in which they own shares in a party to a lawsuit they’re presiding over. Until now, the public had to wait months or years for the judges and federal court system to release disclosure forms.

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The president thanked the bill’s bipartisan sponsors in a brief statement.

Lawmakers said they drafted the bipartisan, bicameral Courthouse Ethics and Transparency Act in response to a Wall Street Journal investigation that found that 152 federal judges around the nation have violated U.S. law and judicial ethics by overseeing 1,076 court cases involving companies in which they or their family owned stock.

The new law comes as the federal judiciary and U.S. Supreme Court are under increased scrutiny, particularly after the leak of a first draft Supreme Court opinion that would overturn the 1973 ruling legalizing abortion.


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