Bench Memos

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More on Justice O’Connor’s One A.M. Robo-calls in Support of Ballot Initiative


Tony Mauro reports:

Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has just issued this statement in response to questions regarding her participation in “robo-calls” urging Nevada voters to support a ballot initiative on judicial elections: “I did not authorize the use of my recorded statement as part of automated telephone calls to Nevada residents, and I regret that the statement was used in this way. In addition, I view my efforts in support of judicial reform as consistent with the Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges.”

Justice O’Connor’s statement raises a few questions:

1. What exactly was the text of the robo-call? What did O’Connor say on the call? Did the organizer of the robo-calls believe that he had O’Connor’s authorization, and, if so, on what basis?

2. Does O’Connor believe that her authorizing her recorded statement would be consistent with the Code of Conduct? If so, why does she regret that the statement was used? If not, how does she distinguish the robo-calls from the campaign videos that she has taken part in?

3. It’s no surprise that O’Connor views her various episodes of politicking as consistent with the Code of Conduct. But the question remains whether they are.

Update:  See Gary Marx’s post immediately above for information relevant to questions 1 and 2.


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