Bench Memos

Uncommon Inanity

It is difficult to imagine a more inane ethics complaint than the one that Common Cause instigated last month against Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas regarding their participation in the Citizens United campaign-finance case. James Taranto exposes the utter lack of substance of the complaint. (I linked here to other pieces discrediting it.) I’ll simply add that Common Cause’s request—that the Department of Justice investigate whether Scalia and Thomas recuse themselves so that it can consider filing a motion asking the Court to vacate the judgment—is equally loony.

Somehow, though, the unhinged nature of Common Cause’s complaint didn’t stop the New York Times from highlighting the complaint in an article that reads like a warmed-over press release from Common Cause. And as Taranto notes, in a house editorial on Saturday, the New York Times, as part of a broader screed against Scalia and Thomas that grossly distorts the facts on a range of matters (and even quotes law professor Lucas Powe’s absurdity), takes Common Cause’s complaint very seriously.

The New York Times has fallen so far from what it ought to be (and even from what it used to be) that it will not be a notable loss when that paper goes out of business. Indeed, the sooner, the better.


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