March 15, 2010

If a judge's spouse is politically active, does it "test" his "impartiality"?

Surely, the answer can't be, only if the judge is conservative.

14 comments:

AllenS said...

If a judge's spouse is politically active, does it "test" his "impartiality"?

Not if the spouse is from a different race.

Lincolntf said...

One more example of how the Left (whether through their media arm or with their agents in elected office) loathes true diversity. Color, size and shape are all they see when they think of "differences" among people. All are meaningless.
They never consider true diversity, that of the mind, a virtue.

1jpb said...

Is she going to use this thing the Rubio way? That is, will she use political donations to lavishly support herself (and her husband)? We've seen that some of these groups (e.g. the Rubio experience) are used to help fund the lifestyles of politicians (and Justices?).

BTW, in the ACLU example weren't recusals involved, when appropriate?

Lincolntf said...

Just so long as she's not like Big Mama Obama telling everyone what they can eat, I'm cool with it.

themightypuck said...

Unless your spouse is a wet blanket you are going to have to deal with this sort of thing. It would be funny if a SCOTUS spouse had a late in life come to Jesus moment and became politically active in direct opposition to their (lets face it) husband. Given the massive amount of Catholicism on the court, divorce would probably not be an option.

Big Mike said...

Scratch a liberal, find someone who is really, really disgusted with miscegnation.

David said...

No, no every spouse with a partner in a position of power and trust should be required to take a vow of silent stupidity. It's the appearance of conflict, you see, so they should just be invisible like good little husbands and wives.

traditionalguy said...

Stepford wives are not real. Real wives that are totally post racial and not Marxist Cultist captives will sometimes speak out for Pro-American values in a real world. And the Progressive Slander Machine operatives in the Media should just relax and get used to the idea.

Treacle said...

I live in Pennsylvania where the governor's wife is a federal appellate judge. We don't have a problem with politically active spouses here.

John Stodder said...

The Reinhardt counter-example is a good one. This veteran justice of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is seen as an "old school liberal." His wife just recently retired after almost 40 years as head of the Southern California ACLU. She had that post when Reinhardt married her.

Outside of partisan conservative outlets, I do not recall any concern over whether her position might create a test of Reinhardt's impartiality. Why not? Because it was obvious he agreed with her philosophically, with or without the marriage. Reinhardt makes no effort to hide his views. The LA Times and other news media has consistently shown Reinhardt great respect for his uncompromising liberalism. When his marriage is referenced, the references are almost always admiring.

So, no, a judge's spouse can be politically active, even a leader, and win not just a sullen pass, but an enthusiastic embrace.

I fully expect the LAT to run an editorial extolling Thomas' wife for being an active citizen, and dismissing all attacks on Thomas' impartiality as mere political posturing.

Chip Ahoy said...

Yeah,it probably does test it but that's healthy. It's good to be challenged if even by appearances. Stop calling me Shirley.

1jpb said...

John S,

You forgot to mention that the judge recused himself from ACLU cases. Will Thomas recuse himself from cases that involve issues directly pushed by his wife's business? Will he recuse himself from cases that involve the financial backers of his wife's business?

Also, this particular situation is sort of like a politician w/ a spouse who is a lobbyist--which does happen. Will she need to follow the disclosure, limiting, and monitoring rules of a lobbyist. Does it matter if the public doesn't know who is funding her? Is anybody worried about the Rubio effect that allows donors to fund a politician's (or Justice's) lifestyle (see the link in my earlier comment)? And, don't forget that this situation is different from a politician w/ a lobbyist spouse because this politician (the Justice) can't be removed from power by voters.

Doug Wright-OldGrouchy said...

Well, the article does provide a hint as to why Justice Thomas is a Cornhusker football fan!

Cedarford said...

"1jpb said...
John S,
You forgot to mention that the judge recused himself from ACLU cases."

You forgot to mention that Reinhart recused in lawsuits his wife's SoCal ACLU was a direct party to, but not ones filed where his wife filed amicus briefs. Nor in cases where other liberal or progressive Jewish lawyer-run Front groups closely associated with the SoCal ACLU filed.