Roberts sidesteps Supreme Court’s ethics controversies in yearly report

Supreme Court Justice John Roberts took a decidedly apolitical bent Tuesday in his annual year-end report on the federal judiciary, largely avoiding mention of the major ethical controversies that have engulfed the court this year.

The report, Roberts’ seventh since he became chief justice in 2005, touched on security procedures, court management, the judiciary’s financial situation, and the achievements of court staff, but made little direct reference to questions raised over the court’s handling of cases involving President Donald Trump and other highly charged political issues.

In particular, Roberts steered well clear of any discussion of the federal judiciary’s response to allegations of bias and conflicts of interest among the justices in deciding cases involving the Trump campaign and other issues.

The chief justice has spoken previously about the need to preserve the independence and impartiality of the court, but the annual report was meant to focus on broader issues impacting the judicial branch.

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