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Bench Memos

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Cross Examination for Justice O’Connor



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Professor Ronald Rotunda, a widely quoted expert on judicial ethics, has joined the chorus of people who believe Justice O’Connor’s campaign activity in Nevada crossed a line. According to Professor Rotunda:

Not only does this activity seem tacky for a judge, it is pretty clear that it is inconsistent with the relevant ethical rules. . . . Congress created a Judicial Council for each circuit to hear complaints against federal judges.  That Council should investigate, but the facts suggest that what Justice O’Connor has done is improper.  In the meantime, she should either get out of politics or get off the bench and stop deciding cases. 

It is pretty ironic that Justice O’Connor thinks the best way to promote the integrity of the judicial branch is to get involved in a political campaign while still serving as a judge. She probably wants to bury the robo-call story, for that reason, but there is a strong body of evidence suggesting that the real story is that she is acting as a tool for a billionaire who wants to shape our courts to his advantage. This would be the same billionaire who has funded a host of other left-wing projects, including MoveOn.org, the Center for American Progress, Media Matters, and the ongoing campaign to legalize pot in California: George Soros.

According to the American Justice Partnership’s examination of IRS records, George Soros has made more than $45 million in grants through his Open Society Institute to promote the Missouri Plan. Justice O’Connor and an organization called Justice at Stake are leading the charge, and both have been directly involved in supporting the Nevada initiative. The American Judicature Society, another Soros group pushing the Missouri Plan, has also been promoting Justice O’Connor’s efforts in Nevada.  

Has anyone called Justice O’Connor or the Supreme Court’s public information office to ask if she received any reimbursements or payments for her actions? Has anyone asked Nevadans for Question One, Justice at Stake, or any of the other Soros organizations involved in this issue, if Justice O’Connor received any money from them?  Does the Open Society Institute plan on disclosing whether it is directly or indirectly paying a federal salaried official? 

Someone could do the public a real favor by asking the right questions.

– Gary Marx is the executive director of the Judicial Crisis Network.



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