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The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

Supreme court code of ethics highlights importance of accountability

The+Supreme+Court+moves+towards+a+code+of+ethics+to+determine+what+is+allowed+in+the+Supreme+Court.%0A
Tyler Nels
The Supreme Court moves towards a code of ethics to determine what is allowed in the Supreme Court.

Many ethical frameworks follow integrity, the act of doing the right thing even when no one is watching. The Supreme Court is now revamping their ethics to achieve a higher level of integrity.

On Nov. 13, all nine justices signed a new code of ethics for the Supreme Court, the first of its kind in the courthouse. The new code states when a Justice can make real estate decisions and when a Justice should remove themselves from a case in the court. The recusal policy specifically expresses how Justices must withdraw from cases that include family members and extended family in a case or lawyer for a case.

While the Supreme Court is just now adopting a code of ethics, many businesses and institutions already have their own Ethic Codes.

Lynne Lundberg, a Pleasant Valley English professor, is well versed in the code of ethics that teachers must follow. “It includes things like being honest about student grades and being transparent. It also includes things like keeping your [teaching] license up to date, making sure that you are qualified to teach what [classes] you teach and avoiding inappropriate relationships,” said Lundberg. The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners approves a Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics which applies to all teachers in Iowa.

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Like PV, HyVee also has a code of conduct and ethics that employees are expected to abide by.

Paul Scheibelhut Jr., a Manager at HyVee, carries a card with him everyday, highlighting the store’s values. “HyVee has 14 fundamentals and character traits help [the employees] be better both as a business and people. Ethics helps our company become better,” Scheibelhut Jr. explained. The traits that HyVee holds its employees include honesty, integrity, friendliness, and respect among other attributes.

For both HyVee and the Pleasant Valley Community School District, there are strict repercussions for violating the code of conduct and ethics. Inthe Supreme Court, the enforcement is on the honor system.

For teachers, violating the code of ethics requires them to take an ethics course to understand what they did wrong. “Repeated ethics violations do result in losing your license as a teacher,” said Lundberg.

At businesses like HyVee, “Depending on the situation, [violations] could be a reprimand or termination from the company,” said Scheibelhut Jr.

Lundberg feels that ethics is essential for anyone in a position of power. “I would hope that anyone who is elevated to a position as high as the Supreme Court would want to have ethics that are beyond reproach,” she said.

Previously, Justices believed that they were unrestricted by any ethics rules, unlike all other jurists in the United States. While the new code of ethics for the Supreme Court has many critics, the code is a step in the right direction in keeping Justices liable for their actions. 

The introduction of a Code of Ethics for the Supreme Court shows how important ethics are to modern society and the increased accountability needed for people of power. “There is nobody who is above ethics. There’s no position of authority in which ethics is unimportant,” said Lundberg. 

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Tyler Nels, Overflow Editor
Tyler Nels is a senior at Pleasant Valley and is the Overflow Editor for the Spartan Shield. Tyler looks forward to studying biology in college, going into oncology, and eventually curing people of their cancer. He enjoys various sciences classes like Anatomy and Physiology, AP Physics 2, and Microbiology/Organic Chemistry. A Captain and Varsity member of the Cross Country team, running has become more of a lifestyle instead of just a sport. You can find him anywhere in the Quad Cities taking on a long run! Collector of running shoes and service hours, Tyler enjoys giving back time to his local community. Over the summer he organized a collection drive at The Belmont Mile that repurposed over 110 pairs of running shoes and raised $100+ for the Track Guy Organization. In addition to volunteering, Tyler enjoys playing golf, pickleball, spikeball, and other outdoor activities with his friends. Tyler is ecstatic to write for the Spartan Shield this school year!

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