Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Truely Activist Judge

Liberals claim that there is no such thing as an Activist Judge, but I found something in today's Best of the Web that COMPLETELY destroys that theory.

Remember the woman who made the ruling, Anna Taylor Diggs? Apparently word leaked from the Michigan A.C.L.U. that she is a secretary and one of the trustees of an organization that gave a total of $125,000 in 4 grants to the Michigan A.C.L.U, who was the main plaintiff in the case. However, Diggs did not feel that that was important, and neither disclosed the information during the case, nor is she willing to comment on the facts now.

And who broke the story? I'll be damned...The New York Times. However, the Times was not the group who discovered the money trail; That credit goes to Judicial Watch. In fact, the Times does a magnificent job at trying to portray the issue as unimportant, and a non-factor in her decision. They even ask a professor from N.Y.U. about his opinion on the case. He replied:

“The question is whether her impartiality might reasonably be questioned,’’ Professor Gillers said, “and the fact that she sits on the board of a group that gives money to the plaintiff for an otherwise unrelated endeavor would not in my mind raise reasonable questions about her partiality on the issue of warrantless wiretapping.”

However, as BotW points out, when ONE of the 9 Supreme Court Justices was shown to have gone hunting with VP Chaney, he was in an uproar.

Scalia's opinion also claims that the appeal is not really about Cheney, who is sued only in his "official capacity," but about the power of the Vice President and the meaning of complex statutes. Ignored is the fact that rejection of the appeal can hurt Cheney politically in an election year if the secret records reveal a pro-industry bias in Cheney's leadership of the study group. That may also explain why Cheney stonewalled the nonpartisan General Accounting Office when it asked him for the same information.
An opposing argument could reveal these and other flaws in Scalia's logic and might well persuade a disinterested judge to reach a contrary conclusion. Judges have been disqualified for much less.

That case was decided 7-2 in favor of VP Chaney. Even if Scalia had dropped out, it would have been the same. However in the case of the NSA taps, there was ONLY ONE JUDGE.

And as the Times points out,
"Federal law requires judges to disqualify themselves from hearing a case if their impartiality “might reasonably be questioned” based on factors like a financial or personal relationship with a party in the case." - NYT