2024 Finalist, Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting

Friends of the Court

While there has been plenty of press coverage of the Supreme Court’s landmark court decisions over the years, the Justices themselves have long evaded the kind of public scrutiny endured by elected officials and other public servants. Seeking to shed light on one of the most opaque branches of government, this reporting team used a series of unconventional reporting techniques – cross-referencing highly redacted records from U.S. Marshals with flight data, hunting down fishing licenses, private yacht schedules, photos on social media and interviews with hundreds of people around the world – to reveal a system that enables judges to thwart ethical oversight and conceal conflicts of interest as they rule on the country’s most consequential legal cases. Their reporting prompted investigations by the Senate Judiciary and Finance committees and led to the Supreme Court’s adoption of a code of conduct for the first time in its history.

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