Analilia Mejia of the Center for Popular Democracy, center, joins other activists calling for ethics reform in the U.S. Supreme Court at the Capitol in Washington on May 2, 2023. Credit: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

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It’s time for a change in the rules for federal employees. All employees and volunteers, including elected officials and judges, should be subject to the same ethical and security requirements.

Security clearances are supposed to be commensurate with the level of information that will be available. In the case of elected officials, they should be vetted at the expense of their campaign before they are placed on the ballot. All appointed officials should be subject to the same standard applied to other employees. No one should have special powers to waive security clearance.

As far as ethics goes, the rules should be clearly defined and exactly the same across the board. There should be no confusion about whether a congressional page, a judge or the president can accept a gift and what the consequences are for violating the rules. Supposedly we are all equal in the eyes of our Constitution. It’s time to do away with the current system that appointment to high office confers special privileges.

Donna Twombly