FauxPolitik

Friday, March 19, 2004

Recuse moi!: I concur that Sierra is out of its politically correct organic gourd in proposing that he recuse himself based on the strength of editorial outcry. However...

Let's look at how most judicial determinations are made: usually you have two sides that make allegations and then strive to drum up evidence to support same. Then, the law is applied to the facts as appropriate to reach a legal conclusion on who wins. This decision is made either by a judge, solely, or by the combination of a judge and jury, i.e. third parties who aren't supposed to have a dog in the fight.

In recusal matters, we perversely let the judge be not only the one who analyzes the facts and law, but the one who supplies the facts! So, he says: "No, the newspapers have it all wrong. Here's what really happened when I invited Dick Cheney to come hunting and then traded jokes with him all the way down to Loozeeanna in a private jet that the taxpayers were kind enough to provide. Based on these immutable facts, I conclude that in view of the law, I did nothing wrong." Tell me who's doling out spurious logic now?

See, if this were run differently (and admittedly, a recusal motion is not the same as a substantive motion for summary judgment, for example), you'd have the moving party taking depositions, collecting documents to support one's position (i.e. you depose the pilot, the stewardess, Cheney [assuming you can find his undisclosed location], and Scalia himself). Then you try to play mix-and-match with the testimony to find smoking guns and inconsistencies.

Anyway, you can rest assured Scalia is telling you all you need to know. I mean, we know those dead animals ain't talking.

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