The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has approved a new rulebook for the state’s judges.For sitting judges, revisions to the judicial code of conduct mean no more sitting on corporate boards or hiring relatives.
These conflicts are more than hypotheticals, said Lynn Marks, executive director of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts.
“We have been troubled for years about nepotism hiring in judicial system,” she said.
A strong code of conduct is one of the steps that must be taken to reassure the public about the integrity of the people sitting judgment over others — especially in the wake of recent court scandals, she said.
“The conviction of [Supreme Court] Justice Joan Orie Melvin for campaign corruption or you look at some of the discipline complaints against justices around the state and you realize you could have been affected by judges’ decisions,” Marks said.
The revision took two years of talks between judges and lawyers. The code dates back to 1973.