[I]t would have been prudent for her to disclose any activity that might conceivably raise questions about her ability to be impartial. Regrettably, it was left to a conservative group, Judicial Watch, to point out her role as a trustee to a foundation that had given grants to a branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, a plaintiff in the case....I don't understand why judges don't steer clear of anything that can be used against them like this. Well, to dredge up yesterday's paper -- the one with my op-ed in it -- I don't understand why judges don't swaddle their opinions -- whether result-oriented or not -- in very professional, neutral-sounding verbiage. Why make it easier for your critics?
Judge Taylor’s role at a grant-making foundation whose list of beneficiaries includes groups that regularly litigate in the courts is still disquieting — and, even worse, it is not all that unusual for a member of the judiciary. The most important lesson here may be the wisdom of re-examining the sort of outside activities that are appropriate for sitting federal judges.
August 24, 2006
The NYT has an editorial about the controversy that has boiled up connecting Judge Anna Diggs Taylor to the ACLU, the party she summarily handed a victory to in ACLU v. NSA.