On Monday, the Supreme Court responded to increasing pressure and released its first-ever ethics code.

This action was taken following a string of revelations concerning undisclosed property transactions and gifts to several justices.

The justices explained in a statement that they created the code of conduct to compile and clarify the previously unwritten ethical guidelines of the court.

“For the most part these rules and principles are not new,” the court said, noting that “the absence of a code” has given rise to an impression that “the justices of this court, unlike all other jurists in this country, think that they are not restricted by any ethics rules.”

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The disclosure of extravagant trips and expensive presents has brought attention to the lack of written ethical regulations that apply to justices. However, it is still uncertain which of these activities would breach the rules and who would be responsible for making that determination under the new code.

The code is spread across nine pages, but nowhere does it impose explicit limitations on gifts, travel or real estate transactions.

However, it does advise the justices against engaging in external activities that diminish the honor of their position, hinder their official responsibilities, negatively affect their impartiality or result in disqualification from cases.

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