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April 24, 2007


Wm. Blackstone

There was no need for disqualification. If there was Justice Bryer, with his many holdings, or Scalia, with his many children, might never adjudicate.


While I'm glad he's doing it, I don't think it's a good general rule. Unless his son directly influenced or made policy or decisions involved in the suits before the Court, I would see no reason for him to recuse (for there is no appearance of impropriety). For instance, let us say instead that Jamal Thomas is at DOJ in the criminal division and handles appeals. When he isn't personally involved in a case I don't think that the Justice should recuse . . . of course, it's much easier when there are relatively isolated cases (perhaps I am wrong, but I would imagine there aren't too many appeals from Wachovia or Credit Suisse, and perhaps it's a good rule in context of the Court's lower caseload then say, a district court's).


This is the most positive news I've heard about Justice Thomas in ages. Whatever other disagreements I have with him, he certainly isn't personally financially corrupt. He deserves high praise for avoiding even the appearance of impropriety in this case.

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