It Takes a Court
Syracuse Law Review, Vol. 60, p. 221, 2010
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: Suggested Citation