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Federal courts adopt uniform rules for judicial discipline

The Judicial Conference of the United States has announced the adoption of uniform standards for the first nationally binding judicial discipline rules among the federal Circuit courts. The standards curtail the decentralized self-regulatory system that let individual circuit’s set their own standards and closed “jurisdictional gaps,” according to Judge Ralph K. Winter of the 2d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and chair of the Conduct Committee that compiled the reforms. The changes were made in response to recommendations by a special committee chaired by Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer and pressure from some in Congress to improve implementation of the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act of 1980, the basis of federal judicial discipline.

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