Thousands of complaints are filed against judges every year, but very few result in discipline. Ethics experts say the time for states to transform the judiciary is now.
The timing in when the public is allowed to know about allegations against judges can differ broadly among states. Some allow judges to go months or years before even credible complaints are in the open.
As more than 100 million cases are filed in local and state courts every year and as judges exert near-absolute power in deciding who wins custody of children to who can get married to whether people go to jail, the public’s ability to scrutinize judicial conduct is crucial for transparency’s sake, and it deserves as much attention as recent calls for policing and prosecutorial overhauls, judicial ethics experts argue.
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