Litigants on Whether They Will Ask For Scalia Recusal

The Washington Post asks Sierra Club and Judicial Watch, the ligitants in Cheney v. United States District Court for the District of Columbia, if they will file a recusal petion and gets interesting answers.

Scalia Joined Cheney on Flight: Some legal scholars have suggested that Scalia should recuse himself from the Cheney case because of the trip. But one of the two organizations opposing Cheney in the case, Judicial Watch, disagreed. “We will not be asking for Justice Scalia's recusal,” said Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch president. “We do not think there is a conflict of interest or an appearance of a conflict.”

The other litigant suing Cheney, the Sierra Club, said it had not decided whether to seek Scalia's recusal. Sierra Club lawyer David Bookbinder said the presence of Scalia on the plane makes it appear he was accepting “valuable favors” from Cheney. “We understand why everybody in America is wondering why the appearance of impropriety has not been reached,” Bookbinder said.

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2 Responses to Litigants on Whether They Will Ask For Scalia Recusal

  1. Tung Yin says:

    Do you think it’s possible that, having raised all sorts of attention about the details of the trip, the litigants are making a tactical determination that Justice Scalia will be muted in the Court’s conference on the case, for fear of appearing to be favoring Cheney?

  2. Michael says:

    If I were their lawyer, I most certainly would not count on that. Judicial Watch is a fairly right-wing group, and they may see Scalia as something of an ally in general (if not necessarily in this case, although maybe even here), and may not wish to annoy him. It wouldn’t be a silly attitude for them to take. Sierra Club has a different calculation, as they don’t probably expect to get Scalia’s vote much of the time anyway.

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