Beyond Labels

A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues

Feb. 7: Ethics

At tomorrow’s session, we’ll circle back to a subject we’ve touched on before: ethics.

Three unrelated (?) lines of discussion in recent weeks led to this topic:

  • Supreme Court ethics (or code of conduct). Should it formally adopt one or, as the highest court in the land, should it continue to retain the flexibility of an “honor code” in which each Justice makes the decision as to whether to recuse from a case?
  • Journalistic ethics. (Another trigger for the Supreme Court angle, centered around the public leaks from the court about Neil Gorsuch, Sonia Sotomayor, and masks). And the Sarah Palin/NYT defamation trial just getting under way.
  • Corporate “ethics.” Should corporations be ethical? What does that mean in the context of a corporation?

For that matter, if (as Peter S. likes to quote) ethics is “obedience to the unenforceable,” who gets to decide what is ethical and what is not? (I have my answer, but I’ll save it for tomorrow.)


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