Supreme Court upholds ethics laws Staff
Posted: Jun 13, 2011 2:18 PM
Supreme Court upholds ethics laws
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court upheld ethics laws across the nation that forbid legislators and city councilmen from voting on matters in which they have a conflict of interest.

Reversing the Nevada high court, the justices ruled that legislators do not have a free-speech right to vote as they choose. Therefore, the court said in a 9-0 vote, the 1st Amendment does not shield a legislator who is charged with an ethics violation.

Conflict-of-interest rules "have been commonplace for over 200 years," said Justice Antonin Scalia, and they have never been thought to infringe on the free-speech rights of lawmakers, he said.