Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Conflict of Interest Is Raised in N.S.A. Ruling Conflict of Interest Is Raised in N.S.A. Ruling

New York Times article: Conflict of Interest Is Raised in N.S.A. Ruling discloses that
The federal judge who ruled last week that President Bush’s eavesdropping program was unconstitutional is a trustee and an officer of a group that has given at least $125,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union in Michigan, a watchdog group said Tuesday.
But not surprisingly, the legal ethicists whom the NYT consulted mostly didn't think that being a trustee of an organization that gave the prevailing plaintiff in this case money is a conflict of interest, though they unanimously agreed that Judge Taylor should have disclosed this "appearance" of a conflict.

Now, I am not an expert on legal ethics, but it seems a bit ludicrous that the legal ethicists think that she should have disclosed this appearance of a conflict, but not voluntarily recused hersef. But then, if she had disclosed this, she faced the liklihood that the Government might ask that she recuse herself, and doing that would risk having the case transferred to a judge more sympathetic to the government's cause (i.e., one who wasn't appointed by President Carter). And, we know what she thinks about that, in her attempted grab of one of the U. Mich. racial quota cases when she was Chief Judge of the District.

So, no, this didn't do Judge Taylor's image any good here at all.

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