Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

Malleable, Ideology-Driven Ethics Charges


When a conservative judge inadvertently violates an overprotective rule against taking part in a case involving a party in which the judge has a very minor stock interest that can’t possibly be affected by the case, the Left treats that violation as compelling evidence of the judge’s manifest unfitness for the bench.  Witness the attack on Judge Terry Boyle’s nomination for the Fourth Circuit.


The Left, by contrast, simply ignores these technical violations when they are committed by a liberal favorite, like Justice Ginsburg, even when they are far greater in number.  Or, as this quote today from a liberal “ethics expert” concerning such a violation by liberal Ninth Circuit judge Harry Pregerson shows, the Left regards the violation as an innocent sign of human fallibility:  “We’re all fallible, and even the best conflict checks sometimes leave something unaddressed.”

As I have made clear, I believe that Justice Ginsburg’s violations were innocent and inadvertent and insignificant, and I readily assume the same of Judge Pregerson’s.  The Left should accord Judge Boyle the same decent treatment it provides its ideological favorites.

Tags: Whelan


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