Oregon Law Review : Vol. 90, No. 1, p. 069-112 : Federal Judicial Disqualification: A Behavioral and Quantitative Analysis
Buhai, Sande L.
The issue of judicial recusal has become front-page news. House Democrats have called on Justice Thomas to recuse himself from cases challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act because of his wife’s role as a paid lobbyist against that Act. Republicans are calling for the recusal of Justice Kagan from the same cases because of her service as Solicitor General when the Obama administration was considering how to structure health care reform legislation to survive constitutional challenge. Over the past two centuries, judicial recusal standards have been tightened repeatedly. Nevertheless, in case after high-profile case, they still sometimes fail to ensure the kind of legitimating impartiality we demand of our courts.