Nov 16, 2011 6:53 AM GMT
Some liberal extremists are attempting to personally attack the integrity of Supreme Court Justices because they disagree with their decisions. It's more than a little vile considering the double standard they take. It would seem that these attacks have been pre-emptive in an attempt to deflect criticisms of Elena Kagan and far more serious charges of conflicts of interest.
Yet, even liberal legal experts have brushed off the complaints as hollow.
In an appearance with Weiner on CNN last month, the network’s liberal legal commentator Jeffrey Toobin flatly rejected the Democratic congressman’s call for Thomas to recuse himself from the health care case.
“I don’t think there is even a specter of a conflict of interest,” Toobin said.
And Michael Waldman, executive director of the left-leaning Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s School of Law, called the allegations that Thomas and Scalia are biased by their affiliation with the Koch retreat “meritless. We see no basis for the accusations that the justices’ decisions are based on anything but the merits.” He warned that “people should think very hard before asking prosecutors to investigate judges just because they dislike the decisions they make.”
In dismissing as “farfetched” Common Cause’s request that the Justice Department investigate whether the justices’ Koch conference appearances warranted recusal, The Washington Post’s editorial board noted that liberal justices also have affiliated with groups that had interests before the court.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for instance, appeared at a 2004 lecture series co-sponsored by the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund two weeks after taking the liberal group’s side in a medical screening case before the court.
And, though the justice’s late husband, Martin Ginsburg, was for years a partner in a high-powered corporate law firm, Feldman asserted in his Times op-ed, “Surely no one believes that his career made his wife … more positively inclined toward corporate interests.”
Likewise, Feldman was amused by a December Times editorial urging Scalia to reject the Tea Party Caucus’s invitation lest he “give the impression that he was joining the throng — confirming his new moniker as the ‘Justice from the tea party’.”
On Sunday, March 21, 2010, the day the House of Representatives passed President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, then-Solicitor General Elena Kagan and famed Supreme Court litigator and Harvard Law Prof. Laurence Tribe, who was then serving in the Justice Department, had an email exchange in which they discussed the pending health-care vote, according to documents the Department of Justice released late Wednesday to the Media Research Center, CNSNews.com's parent organization, and to Judicial Watch.
“I hear they have the votes, Larry!! Simply amazing,” Kagan said to Tribe in one of the emails.
The Justice Department released a new batch of emails on Wednesday evening as its latest response to Freedom of Information Act requests filed by CNSNews.com and Judicial Watch. Both organizations filed federal lawsuits against DOJ after the department did not initially respond to the requests. CNSNews.com originally filed its FOIA request on May 25, 2010--before Elena Kagan's June 2010 Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
The March 2010 email exchange between Kagan and Tribe raises new questions about whether Kagan must recuse herself from judging cases involving the health-care law that Obama signed--and which became the target of legal challenges--while Kagan was serving as Obama's solicitor general and was responsible for defending his administration’s positions in court disputes.