The majority [said that] its approach mirrored practices followed by the U.S. Supreme Court. The majority also contended the opposite decision would lessen the public's view of the court.The dissenters focused on the particular recusal they thought should have occurred in this case (a case in which 2 trial court defendants appealed separately, and a judge who is now on the Supreme Court had sat on the appeal of the co-defendant). I can't imagine the strife and wrangling that would take place if the judges could change the outcomes in cases by ousting one of their peers. The court already looks way too political. Who thinks they wouldn't use this power in a willfully outcome-oriented way?
"Four justices forcing a fellow justice off a pending case will not increase the public's perception that the court is an impartial decision maker," they wrote. "Rather, the specter of four justices preventing another justice from participating will just as likely be seen by the public as a biased act of four justices who view a pending issue differently from the justice whom they disqualified."
July 12, 2011
Should the principle that "no man is allowed to be a judge of his own cause" mean that a judge should not be the one to decide whether he or she will be recused?
The Wisconsin Supreme Court said no, but it was a 4-3 decision, along all-too-familiar partisan lines, with a vigorous dissent.