Friday, March 19, 2004

Scalia's Recusal Refusal: Want to read an absolute workout? Here's Scalia denying the Sierra Club's request that he recuse himself from the case involving Cheney and the Energy Task Force (over the now-famous duck hunting trip).
The core of Sierra Club’s argument is as follows:
“Sierra Club makes this motion because . . . damage [to the integrity of the system] is being done right now. As of today, 8 of the 10 newspapers with the largest circulation in the United States, 14 of the largest 20, and 20 of the 30 largest have called on Justice Scalia to step aside . . . . Of equal import, there is no counterbalance or controversy: not a single news-paper has argued against recusal. Because the American public, as reflected in the nation’s newspaper editorials, has unanimously concluded that there is an appearance of favoritism, any objective observer would be compelled to conclude that Justice Scalia’s impartiality has been questioned. These facts more than satisfy Section 455(a), which mandates recusal merely when a Justice’s impartiality ‘might reasonably be questioned.’” Motion to Recuse 3–4.

The implications of this argument are staggering. I must recuse because a significant portion of the press, which is deemed to be the American public, demands it.
He goes on to point out, amusingly, how poorly those editorials grasp the facts -- never mind the law.

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