« Ind. Courts - Check out the newest 2014 summaries of bills of interest to the judiciary | Main | Ind. Law - The mysterious LSA memo on amending the Indiana Constitution »

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Courts - As of Jan. 27th, "Justice Samuel Alito Jr. has recused himself 52 times since the term began in October"

So reported Tony Mauro of the The National Law Journal. A quote:

Justice Samuel Alito Jr. has recused himself 52 times since the term began in October, a pace that could exceed his roughly 70 recusals last term. Most appear to have been triggered by his inheritance of stock in companies that are parties before the court — though many of the conflicts are not obvious from his most recent financial disclosure form. In most of the recusals, Alito bowed out of decisions that denied review of petitions before the court.

"Fifty-two recusals to this point in the term is an astounding number, regardless of how many of the cases were granted," said James Sample, a judicial ethics expert at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. "While justices holding individual stocks is not new, it may be that the extent and reach of those individualized holdings, in certain instances, is now great enough to risk diminishing the finite public resource" of the court as a nine-justice institution. * * *

Alito is not the only justice stepping aside. Justice Elena Kagan has recused herself more than twice as often as Alito so far this term — 113 times — but almost all appear to be explained by her involvement in the cases as U.S. solicitor general before she joined the court in 2010. Last term, for the same reason, Kagan recused herself 220 times.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor has recused herself 31 times this term, almost all in cases that came from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, where she was a judge before joining the Supreme Court in 2009.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 2, 2014 03:43 PM
Posted to Courts in general