Diogenes Finds One

Legal ethics blogger Jack Marshall–a supporter of same-sex marriage–finds it’s an easy call that Judge Vaughn Walker should have recused himself because of his longstanding relationship with another man:

[T]he recusal rules are not there to protect the regard in which the judicial process and the rule of law is held by elite, progressive Democratic lawyers and ethics professors. It is there to ensure the faith and trust of the public—the normal people, the 99.99% who base their judgments on life experiences and not on reading legal ethics opinions, codes of conduct and legal ethics treatises all day long. And those people, the ones whose belief in the fairness of the judicial system is critical to the the nation’s vitality and existence, do not go through the labyrinthine, and I think, cynical, legal ethics analysis required to conclude that Judge Walker had no obligation to reveal his domestic status, because, really, it was completely irrelevant. They hear about Judge Walker’s late disclosure, and raise an eyebrow…because it raises reasonable doubts.


Matthew J. Franck — Matthew J. Franck is the Director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey.

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