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Monday, August 19, 2013

Ind. Courts - "Indiana Case Shows That Merit Selection Not A Recusal Controversy Panacea"

From the State Bar of Michigan Blog, this post. Some quotes:

Proponents of merit selection of judges often argue against the popular election of judges by pointing out how campaign expenditures can compromise judicial impartiality, or at least the appearance of impartiality. Indeed, the definitive U.S. Supreme Court case, Caperton v. Massey, held that a West Virginia justice's failure to recuse himself from a case in which he received substantial campaign donations from one of the parties violated the other party's Due Process rights. An ongoing controversy in Indiana, however, illustrates that big recusal fights can arise in appointive systems, too. * * *

Last year, outgoing Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels appointed his chief counsel, Mark Massa, to the Indiana Supreme Court. When the case came before the Court this year, the Sierra Club and other opponents of the gasification plant filed a motion for disqualification, citing Massa’s "long and close" relationship with the project director for the proposed coal gasification plant and his work as Gov. Mitch Daniels’ general counsel when the governor pushed enabling legislation for the project. Last week, Justice Massa denied the motion to disqualify. In response, the Indianapolis Star has published "Of course, Mark Massa should have recused himself."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 19, 2013 03:15 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts