More than 60 Catholic University law school students attended the screening on April 17 of a film, “A Question of Integrity: Politics, Ethics and the Supreme Court,” shown by the law school’s chapter of the American Constitution Society.
The program qualified for ethics credit for students and featured speakers Ashley C. Smith and Debra Mayfield, both from the Alliance for Justice, a national leader in nonprofit advocacy law.
Narrated by actor Edward James Olmos, the 15-minute film presents the argument that some Supreme Court justices have attended overtly political meetings, have inappropriately lent their names to private fundraisers, and have maintained financial and personal relationships with individuals and institutions that give rise to the appearance of impropriety.
“A Question of Integrity: Politics, Ethics and the Supreme Court” accuses some justices of having failed to disclose financial information required by federal law, and strongly advocates for the need to apply the judicial Code of Conduct to the Court, reform the recusal process, and enforce the Ethics in Government Act.
“The students did a great job during the follow-up Q & A, asking very tough questions and giving invaluable feedback,” remarked Catholic University law professor Suzette Malveaux, who attended the event.
A 2011-2012 Dorot Fellow at Alliance for Justice, Smith worked as a 2010 summer associate at AFJ, focusing on the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court of the United States and judicial ethics research in anticipation of potential Deepwater Horizon litigation.
Mayfield is the Alliance for Justice's 2011 Klagsbrun fellow. She has worked in television development for such organizations as NBC Studios, Paramount Television and Creative Artists Agency. She was also the associate producer for two short films for the Feminist Majority and has served as Producer in Residence for the Women's Campaign Forum.