Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Should a judge be permitted to receive gifts from those who do business before the court? In Pennsylvania, the answer is yes, provided the judge makes disclosure of gifts valued at $250 or more. According to the New York Times, almost no other state follows this policy. According the Philadelphia Inquirer, perhaps the leading judicial recipient of gifts in Pennsylvania is the chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. See also here. The Justice’s record shows no pattern of favoritism; however, the practice of receiving gifts may affect public perceptions. Members of the federal judiciary may not receive gifts. The Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court are not subject to this ban.