Posts Tagged ‘recusals’

Trump vs. Judge Curiel: the non-case for recusal, cont’d

Sunday’s post quoted Eugene Volokh to the effect that on current evidence there is no case, not even close, for Judge Gonzalo Curiel to recuse himself in the Trump University litigation. Now Ken White at Popehat has a short explainer of the issues, noting, inter alia, that Trump can’t “earn” recusal by stepping up his attacks on Judge Curiel. Meanwhile, Alison Frankel at Reuters gives two reasons Trump’s lawyers won’t move for recusal. First, they need to worry about their reputation; second, there’s a real possibility they’d face sanctions if they did file such a motion, given precedents such as the Second Circuit’s 1998 opinion in MacDraw Inc v. CIT Group upholding sanctions issued by then-U.S. District Judge Denny Chin against lawyers who had moved for his recusal based on his Asian ancestry.

Meanwhile, a Legal NewsLine reports that Judge Curiel recently turned down a class action settlement over jeans labeling as providing too little relief to consumers as compared with lawyers and cy pres bystanders. Tweets Adam Schulman of the Center for Class Action Fairness: “Trump’s least favorite judge seems good on class actions to me.”

“Heap no abuse upon judges”

Ira Stoll recalls a verse from Exodus — translated in the New Berkeley Version of the Christian Bible as “Heap no abuse upon judges” — and notes that the temptation to excoriate judges over unwelcome rulings knows no place or era. Ken White at Popehat pens an explainer, “Is there anything unusual about Judge Curiel’s orders in the Trump University case?” Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales kinda-sorta defends the propriety of litigants’ blasting judges, though in a left-handed way (“if I were a litigant who was concerned about the judge’s impartiality, I certainly would not deal with it in a public manner as Trump has, because it demeans the integrity of the judicial office and thus potentially undermines the independence of the judiciary, especially coming from a man who could be president by this time next year.”), drawing a response from Cassandra Robertson via Jonathan Adler. Eugene Volokh examines the no-not-even-close-on-current-evidence case for Curiel’s recusal. Earlier on the controversy here.

Meanwhile, journalists in Detroit have been recalling the story of the flamboyant, litigious, floppy-haired millionaire populist known for his willingness to insult judges and everyone else, who shoved aside the conventional pols to capture a major party nomination. Of course I’m referring to the 1998 run for governor of Michigan of attorney Geoffrey Fieger, a longtime Overlawyered favorite [Deadline Detroit, Zachary Gorchow/Gongwer]

And also relating to this year’s presidential race, I discussed the Libertarians’ ticket of Gary Johnson and Bill Weld and its attractions in an interview with Mona Charen for her Ricochet podcast “Need to Know” with Jay Nordlinger. More here.

P.S.: Where might a candidate have learned to rant against federal judges who don’t rule his way as “corrupt”? Maybe from New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.

April 22 roundup

Constitutional law and Supreme Court roundup

  • The 173rd, maybe? “This is not the first time [Linda] Greenhouse has misrepresented the views of her opponents” [Ilya Somin; more from ABA Journal on federalism argument against DOMA as supposed anti-federal-power “Trojan horse”] Was it improper for trial judge Vaughn Walker and appeals judge Stephen Reinhardt not to have recused themselves from Prop 8 case? Legal Ethics Forum bloggers weigh in [John Steele, Richard Painter, etc.] Funny graphic by Cato social media team about Cato’s “odd couple” joint brief with Constitutional Accountability Center [CAC] “Right and Left Continue to Change Where they Stand on Standing” [Ilya Somin] And if you’re going to be on Capitol Hill this Friday and are interested in the DOMA and Prop 8 cases, be sure to attend the panel discussion at which I’ll be joined by Ilya Shapiro and Mary Bonauto;
  • On courts’ role in advancing liberty [Roger Pilon exchange with Ramesh Ponnuru] Incidentally, Cato’s “Mr. U.S. Constitution” is now on Twitter at @Roger_Pilon; and he discusses Cato’s high-profile SCOTUS amicus program [here]
  • Cook County official has creative theories about federal supremacy [Illinois Watchdog]
  • Amicus brief: Congress can’t assert perpetual jurisdiction over anyone and everyone, and that goes for ex-sex offenders too [Trevor Burrus]
  • “What are the Weirdest Constitutional Arguments Ever Asserted in Court?” [Orin Kerr and Volokh readers]
  • As Court considers voting act in Shelby County case, Chief Justice Roberts sees problem with pretending it’s still 1965 [Ilya Shapiro; more on VRA, 2010 Abigail Thernstrom backgrounder, National Affairs]

September 10 roundup

  • Employee “moons” corporate brass, court upholds his loss of $2 million in commissions [NYDN]
  • Just what you always wanted to win in a class action: a 15%-off Bed Bath & Beyond coupon [PoL, compare]
  • Seven Camden, N.J. students made to eat lunch on cafeteria floor will get $500,000 [Courier Post Online]
  • “Lawyer Submits A Five-Page Brief — In Comic Book Form” [Tucson Weekly]
  • “Sunlight Before Signing: Measuring a Campaign Promise” [Jim Harper, Cato]
  • Judge Alex Kozinski cast as an extra in “Atlas Shrugged II” [Above the Law]
  • “Recusal Motion Cites Girl-Scout-Cookie Purchase” [Lowering the Bar]

January 18 roundup

  • A federal fishing raid, the Pew Charitable Trusts and a biased Business Week account [Nils Stolpe on Gloucester, Mass. fisheries, via Stoll]
  • Intimidating the judiciary? “Group Opposing Citizens United Pushes ‘Occupy the Courts’ Protest” Jan. 20 [Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal] Mob rallies at Michigan governor’s private home [Meegan Holland, MLive] “Occupy” forces Gingrich to cancel event [Daily Caller] Earlier here, here, here, etc.
  • “Paper Airplane? Late for School? Shouting Too Loud? You’re Under Arrest!” [Free-Range Kids, Texas]
  • Spielberg in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” paid homage to earlier movie sequences without sweating permissions. Oh, for those days [Joho] “Cultural gems that should be in the public domain today” [Atlantic Wire, Tabarrok]
  • UPS settlement exaggerates benefits to class members [Ted Frank; related, CCAF] “Federal Judges Have Harsh Words, Rulings for Class Action Plaintiffs’ Lawyers” [Lammi/WLF]
  • “Justice Breyer Calls Recusal Controversy a ‘Non-Issue’” [ABA Journal]
  • “Add Plaintiff-Lawyer Fees To The Cost Of Most Mergers” [Daniel Fisher, Forbes on Cornerstone Research report]

“Mississippi Court Reverses $322 Million Asbestos Verdict”

“A Mississippi court has reversed a $322 million asbestos verdict against Union Carbide — believed to be the largest in U.S. history — after the judge failed to disclose his own father had pending asbestos litigation against the same company. … The jury ruled for Brown even though nine treating physicians, an independent medical examiner and an X-ray technician all testified that the plaintiff had no symptoms of asbestos-related disease.” [Daniel Fisher, Forbes; earlier here, here and here]

December 19 roundup

  • Too much of a stretch: US nixes copyright in yoga exercises [Bloomberg, earlier]
  • “Know your rights dealing with cops” material construed as probative of criminality [Popehat] Is Justice Scalia really an “unlikely” champion of defendants’ Constitutional rights? [LATimes, Adler] “Overcriminalization: The Legislative Side of the Problem” [Larkin/Heritage, related Meese] When feds spring false-statements trap, it won’t matter whether you committed underlying offense being investigated [Popehat] “‘Clean Up Government Act’ sparks overcriminalization concerns” [PoL]
  • Former Attorney General Mukasey on ObamaCare recusal flap [Adler]
  • American Antitrust Institute proposals might be discounted given group’s longstanding pro-plaintiff bias [Thom Lambert]
  • NYC: “The tour guide said that the way to get rich is to be a zoning lawyer.” [Arnold Kling]
  • “Obama’s Top Ten Constitutional Violations” [Ilya Shapiro, Daily Caller] In at least two major areas, “Obama has broken with precedent to curtail religious freedom” [Steve Chapman]
  • Ted Frank-Shirley Svorny med mal debate wraps up [PoL, Bader]

October 14 roundup

  • Pre-terror-attack antibiotic availability? HHS doesn’t think you’re sophisticated enough to handle that freedom [Stewart Baker]
  • Uh-oh: some New York lawmakers want “a more refined First Amendment” [Slashdot, Lucy Steigerwald]
  • Wal-Mart v. Dukes decision could curb certification of some wage and hour class actions [Fox]
  • “Miss. Supreme Court Removes Judge from $322M Asbestos Case Because of Dad’s Lawsuits” [ABA Journal]
  • Mass. town wants to seize family motel under forfeiture law, IJ objects [Jacob Sullum, Mark Perry]
  • Will FDA use its new tobacco-regulatory power to stub out cigars? [DC]
  • “Dole settles pesticide litigation” [WSJ Law Blog, background]

August 10 roundup

  • Maine Supreme Court agrees that not having to show up in court might be reasonable accommodation for plaintiff claiming PTSD disability [Volokh]
  • Guess how much Richard Kreimer, the New Jersey homeless guy, has made in his many lawsuit settlements [Newark Star-Ledger, PoL]
  • Given the problems with business-method patents, you can see why banks would want to dodge them [Felix Salmon]
  • Contempt: “Calling the jailing of a person ‘civil’ doesn’t mean they put curtains on the cell windows.” [Greenfield]
  • “Class Counsel Request $90.8M In Fees In Black Farmers Case” [BLT]
  • Law school accreditation, recusal standards, international law among topics in new issue of Federalist Society’s ABA Watch;
  • Electricity-wise, EPA puts the squeeze on the juice [Andrew Grossman, Heritage; Weston Hicks, AgendaWise; Tatler]