The new code of ethics will take effect on July 1, 2009.
The code is composed of several canons as follows:
(New Code of Conduct, PDF). Two of the canons are worthy of further note.
CANON 1: A JUDGE SHOULD UPHOLD THE INTEGRITY AND INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY
CANON 2: A JUDGE SHOULD AVOID IMPROPRIETY AND THE APPEARANCE OF IMPROPRIETY IN ALL ACTIVITIES
CANON 3: A JUDGE SHOULD PERFORM THE DUTIES OF THE OFFICE FAIRLY, IMPARTIALLY AND DILIGENTLY
CANON 4: A JUDGE MAY ENGAGE IN EXTRAJUDICIAL ACTIVITIES THAT ARE CONSISTENT WITH THE OBLIGATIONS OF JUDICIAL OFFICE
CANON 5: A JUDGE SHOULD REFRAIN FROM POLITICAL ACTIVITY
The second and fifth canons.
Justice Scalia of the US Supreme Court went on a hunting trip with a litigant in a case then before that court. That litigant was Dick Cheney. It did not look good.
He has also said "get over it" when he is asked about Bush v Gore and other bitter discourse, the case that decided who would be president in 2000, and of course in effect decided that Bush should be president.
That behavior of Justice Scalia would now violate Canon 2 and Canon 5 in the opinion of many people.
We can only hope that Justice Scalia will get over it and forego further appearances of impropriety.
The first test may be the Coleman v Franken senate election case now moving towards the US Supreme Court from the Minnesota State Supreme Court.