Roberts' Lack of Judicial Ethics?
by Last Night in Little Rock
The LA Times today has an op-ed today, Roberts' bad decision by legal ethicists Stephen Gillers, David Luban and Steven Lubet that John Roberts was in the process of being interviewed for his appointment to the Supreme Court while he was deciding Hamdan v. Rumsfeld on the constitutionality of Gitmo military tribunals. (Roberts did not write the opinion, but he voted on the three judge panel.)
Judicial ethics and 28 U.S.C. § 455 mandated recusal. But, neither of those legal constraints kept Justices Thomas and Scalia from making George Bush president in 2000. Thomas' wife worked on Bush's transition team (§ 455(b)(5)(iii)) and Scalia's son worked for one of the law firms representing Bush (albeit not directly involved; § 455(b)(5)(ii)).
The "appearance of impropriety" standard applies. If it looks bad, that is enough.
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