gregs210 - 9/25/2005 9:03 PM
People keep talking about Roberts' integrity, I don't get it. The guy ruled in Bush's favor on his case while being considered for SC nomination. A judge with integrity would have recused himself just because of the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Actually, that's not a fair description -- and the issue was dicussed in some detail during the confirmation hearings (second round, if I recall correctly). In the Circuit case you're referencing, briefs had been filed, oral arguments had concluded, post-hearing briefs had been submitted, research and voting was complete, and Roberts had already reviewed the opinion that was being circulated among the Judges before the opinion was published -- which he didn't write but had already voted on and joined. All of that occurred before he was nominated
(originally for Justice O'Connor), although the opinion itself was officially issued after the nomination. Only nonsense would require that he recuse himself at that point.
In lay terms there are two basic kinds of recusal: required and discretionary. Other than those that can't stand Roberts simply because he was nominated by a President they despise, no one who has examined the issue has concluded that Roberts should have recused himself on either
basis. In fact, nothing in the confirmation process required him to defend the process in that case, but he discussed it at length -- which further demonstrates his judicial integrity, as well as his willingness to be forthcoming about things that wouldn't hinder his ability to have an open mind in the future.