After Scandals, PA Judges Get Updated Code of Conduct


In recent years, Pennsylvania’s judiciary has seen two Common Pleas judges go to federal prison, a handful of Philadelphia Traffic Court judges indicted, one Supreme Court justice convicted of corruption and another sitting justice under federal investigation. Although the Supreme Court will not say that those individual instances led to the creation of a new Code of Judicial Conduct in Pennsylvania, those scenarios certainly are addressed in the rules announced Wednesday that will take effect July 1, says the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Modeled after a similar code introduced by the American Bar Association in 2007, the new code in Pennsylvania prohibits nepotism, as well as judges sitting on the boards of commercial entities. Chief Justice Ronald Castille said the new code was necessary “because times have changed.” The code addresses social media platforms, new categories of protected groups, and specialty courts that handle cases like DUIs, prostitution or mental health issues.

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