There is much legitimate criticism of the main stream press for their biased reporting. Not only are most of the stories covered written by liberal journalists from a liberal point of view, if they could be charged with criminal neglect or gross negligence for ignoring or refusing to cover stories of serious misconduct, or possible illegal behavior by Democrats in government, a lot of them would be found guilty as charged.
To add insult to injury, whenever someone tries to point out the bias, they either shrug their shoulders and say what bias?, or proceed to justify it by condescendingly suggesting that it is impossible for any person to set aside their biases and prevent them from influencing the content of their stories. We are all tainted by our prejudices — they say — no matter how hard we try to be objective, so what’s your point?
But what about judges? Do they have a moral, ethical and legal obligation to take steps to prevent bias on the bench?
As the time to adjudicate whether states have the right to prohibit same-sex marriage rapidly approaches the Supreme Court, more and more voices are surfacing demanding that justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elana Kagan recuse themselves from the case:
Both Kagan and Ginsburg have performed same-sex wedding ceremonies. Ginsburg has at least three and maybe five such ceremonies under her belt, and she had the effrontery to perform one of them in the chambers of the Supreme Court itself.
Kagan likewise performed a highly publicized same-sex ceremony for a former law clerk in Maryland just last September.
With respect to the legal standard that would require a justice to disqualify himself, here’s how Title 28, Part I, Chapter 21, Section 455 of the U.S. Code reads:
“Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”
From my point of view, performing same-sex weddings as the presiding judge would definitely and without a doubt cause a reasonable person to question the impartiality of said judges should they be required to adjudicate the same-sex marriage case about to come before the court. Or am I being unreasonable?
What say you guys?
The Watercooler is always an open thread so if you need to discuss anything else, go ahead. And have a great weekend.