Judicial Impartiality in the Supreme Court - the Troubling Case of Justice Stephen Breyer

41 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2005

See all articles by Monroe H. Freedman

Monroe H. Freedman

Hofstra University - Maurice A. Deane School of Law

Abstract

Supreme Court Justices have been ignoring the mandates of both the Due Process Clause and the Federal Disqualification Statute, repeatedly refusing to recuse themselves in cases in which their impartiality might reasonably be questioned. Further, in response to widespread criticism of these recusal failures, Chief Justice Rehnquist appointed a committee with a skewed composition, which might well weaken recusal requirements. The committee is chaired by Justice Stephen Breyer. Breyer is a particularly inappropriate choice to head up such a committee because, both in the First Circuit and in recent cases in the Supreme Court, he has conspicuously disregarded his own recusal obligations. In short, therefore, the future of judicial impartiality in the Supreme Court looks bleak.

Keywords: Supreme Court, Judicial Recusal, Judicial Disqualification, Judicial Impartiality,Federal Disqualification Statute, 28 USC sec. 455, Stephen Breyer, Due Process, legal ethics, professional responsibility

Suggested Citation

Freedman, Monroe H., Judicial Impartiality in the Supreme Court - the Troubling Case of Justice Stephen Breyer. Oklahoma City University Law Review, Forthcoming; Hofstra Univ. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 05-23. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=842225

Monroe H. Freedman (Contact Author)

Hofstra University - Maurice A. Deane School of Law ( email )

121 Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11549
United States

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