Judicial Transparency, Judicial Ethics, and a Judicial Solution: An Inspector General for the Courts

Loyola University of Chicago Law Journal, Vol. 41, p. 301, 2009

Chapman University Law Research Paper No. 09-45

26 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2009 Last revised: 14 Dec 2010

See all articles by Ronald D. Rotunda

Ronald D. Rotunda

Chapman University, The Dale E. Fowler School of Law

Date Written: November 18, 2009

Abstract

Many federal judges routinely fear criticism, but that fear is unwarranted. The public is rightly concerned that the procedure to investigate and discipline problem-judges is flawed, particularly in a few high-profile cases discussed in this article. Several recent indictments of federal judges add to the problem. As Judge Ralph Winter has acknowledged, the status quo is "not a confidence builder". Judges should welcome an Inspector General for the Federal Courts, who could restore public confidence in the federal judicial discipline system. The Inspector General can investigate potential ethical violations and proceed in those few instances where more is needed. This solution is something that both the public and the judiciary should welcome. Congress can create an Inspector General with appropriate safeguards that will keep our judiciary independent (because no one favors a dependent judiciary) and will keep our judiciary accountable (because no one favors a judiciary that is above the law).

Keywords: judicial ethics, judicial discipline, legal ethics, inspector general, professional responsibility, ABA Model Judicial Code, judicial disqualification

JEL Classification: H10, H11, H79, K10, K19, K29, K39, L32, R38

Suggested Citation

Rotunda, Ronald Daniel, Judicial Transparency, Judicial Ethics, and a Judicial Solution: An Inspector General for the Courts (November 18, 2009). Loyola University of Chicago Law Journal, Vol. 41, p. 301, 2009 ; Chapman University Law Research Paper No. 09-45. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1507995

Ronald Daniel Rotunda (Contact Author)

Chapman University, The Dale E. Fowler School of Law ( email )

One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866-1099
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www1.chapman.edu/~rrotunda/

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