Thursday, April 13, 2006

Scalia Flunks Ethics Quiz

Justice Antonin Scalia failed, once again, a basic ethics question: "Can a judge ethically decide a case involving his hunting buddy?"

Recently, he boasted that his failure to recuse himself in a 2004 case involving his hunting buddy, Dick Cheney, was the "proudest thing" he has ever done on the Supreme Court. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/12/AR2006041201905_pf.html.

However, the rule in such cases is not as Scalia stated. The rule is not whether he can be trusted to be impartial. The rule, for a judge, is whether he can avoid the appearance of partiality.

Judging a case involving a hunting buddy reasonably draws into question the impartiality of the judge. It may be that Justice Scalia is, personally, able to rule on the case fairly. However, a reasonable person could question whether there would be some tilt in his judgment.

A judge motivated by and aware of ethical issues would have recused himself.

Justice Scalia did not.

For him to boast of his violation of basic ethical standards is a shame on the Court and on the entire legal profession.

Most judges would be subject to investigation for such a violation. But, under our Constitution, the body empowered to investigate Scalia, as a member of the Supreme Court, is the Senate.

And the titular head of the Senate is Scalia's hunting buddy.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Which is Libby's Lie?

Here's what I find hard to understand.

Libby told Miller the NIE had the uranium claim as a "key finding" ... meaning it was real solid intel.

But the NIE in fact did NOT have the uranium claim as a "key fining". In fact, it was acknowledged as supported by no reliable evidence.

So Libby, in this matter, wasn't giving out secret information, but LYING about the secret information.

If this is so, why is Bush NOW saying he declassified what Libby disclosed? You can't declassify something that does not exist.

But can you declassify a lie about the contents of a formerly classified document? It would have to be a CLASSIFIED LIE first!

"Oh, what a wicked web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive!"

Monday, April 10, 2006

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