The Executive and Legislative are infected with special interests, and motivated not by what's right, but by what's popular and what sells. The Judicial seems to be the most transparent and the one where outcomes and implications are most easily observed and measured.
The Supreme Court is generally at the back of the decision tree - they don't create, they interpret and to some degree, enforce. But they have a system that prioritizes integrity and peer review in a way that the other two don't.
Is it because judges were deemed to be less trustworthy and therefore had to have walls put around them? Is it self-imposed? Judicial is the also only branch that has a competence/experience/academic barrier to entry - the others are a free for all - anyone can apply - all you need is citizenship, access to money, and a gullible electorate (this last you get for free).
Is there a way to inject trustworthiness into Congress and the White House? I suppose the founders felt that the election process was the best policing agency for this, but let's face it - that hasn't really worked.
Judges are required to explain and document their analysis and rulings (unlike the White House or Congress). Judges can only communicate (directly or indirectly) with any person or group that has a connection to a case if it's "on the record." Any communication that violates this is called ex parte.
Why can't we apply the same standards across all three branches? What if every conversation related to a bill/measure/whatever was required to be on the record and fully-disclosed to the public as a matter of law? For national security issues, the conversations should be documented and available after an appropriate period. No matter what the discussion, or with whom, everything must be part of the public record.
If I had an interest in a particular law or ruling, I'd want to be able to see the "paper trail" of influence for every Congressman or Senator that voted for or against it, or helped craft it; and I'd want to see it in roughly real time (i.e. within a day of the conversation). I'd also like to eliminate the statute of limitations for violations, if an elected official is found to have done something inappropriate even after they've left office, they're still liable and subject to judgment
In 1994 the Republican party drew up a Contract with America that made a series of commitments that would be kept if they won a Republican majority in the House. I thought that was a brilliant tactic and wonder if they might not do it again?
If I were running their party and facing a possible worst-case scenario with Sarah Palin, I would want to reestablish my party with all demographics, and unshackle myself from any one interest group. The heartland, religious right, tea party, or whatever are all important constituents, but to win I need them and more. The American politic isn't as parochial as it once was; you are a victim of being fractionalized (the Palin effect) if you allow any one person or community to define the essence of the party.
Like the Contract, I'd also want to define a new game and force the others to come to me, and play by my rules (straight from Sun Tzu's Art of War). My opening gambit: "we are now the anti-ex parte party; all of our candidates have signed this pledge and we call on our opponents to share our commitment of integrity and accountability to the American people." It would be a way to jettison the anti-Cheney/Bush sentiment, the religious right leaning that has turned off many voters, and the Palin effect. It would also put the President and many Democratic leaders in a difficult position, because either way (take the pledge or not), they lose. Can't beat those odds.
But the best thing is it would bring a measure of integrity and accountability to Congress and the White House.