It Takes a Court

Syracuse Law Review, Vol. 60, p. 221, 2010

Northwestern Public Law Research Paper, 10-17

10 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2010 Last revised: 11 May 2010

Date Written: April 29, 2010


In the standard account of Caperton v. Massey Energy, it is a complex story about judicial elections, campaign contributions, conflicts of interest and the Due Process Clause. In another sense, however, it is a much more mundane story about poor judicial role modeling, in which an insensible West Virginia Supreme Court justice became notorious only because the followed the bad example of the United States Supreme Court itself. This article explains why courts of last resort (both SCOTUS and state supreme courts) should refer recusal motions to the entire court, rather than allow disqualification to be decided solely by the challenged justice.

Keywords: Judicial Ethics, Recusal, Conflicts of Interest, Judicial Disqualification, Courts

JEL Classification: K19, K40

Suggested Citation

Lubet, Steven, It Takes a Court (April 29, 2010). Syracuse Law Review, Vol. 60, p. 221, 2010, Northwestern Public Law Research Paper, 10-17, Available at SSRN:

Steven Lubet (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
312-503-6605 (Phone)

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