Specifying Grounds for Judicial Disqualification in Federal Courts
36 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2007
This Article discusses the essential component of equal justice under the law that a neutral and detached judge preside over court proceedings. Specifically, it examines the statutory grounds for recusal, found at 28 U.S.C. § 455, with a focus on the specific bases for recusal at § 455(b). It discusses the issues of statutory interpretation found in the case law applying § 455(b). It also argues that periodically, it may be appropriate to reexamine the statute for the purpose of (1) adding ethical duties not currently described such as a duty to disclose disqualifying circumstances; (2) broadening preexisting duties such as the judge's duty to inform himself or herself about financial holdings; or (3) adding new disqualifying conditions such as recusals involving former law clerks.
Keywords: judicial ethics
JEL Classification: K4, K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation