Skip to comments.Kagan, Thomas Pressured to Recuse Themselves from Health Care Case
Posted on 11/15/2011 1:41:01 PM PST by SeekAndFind
Only one day after the high court decided to hear the case, there is political pressure from both sides of the aisle calling for both Justice Elena Kagan and Clarence Thomas to recuse themselves from a Supreme Court decision on the Obama administrations health reform law.
Conservatives are calling for Kagan, a more liberal voter, to recuse herself because of her work as a solicitor general in the Obama administration in which she had to push in favor of the healthcare reform. Among those calling for her to recuse herself is Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch (R), a longtime staple of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Hatch told The Hill that it would be most appropriate for Kagan to decline participation in cases on healthcare reform, because of her role as solicitor general.
Right-leaning groups such as the Media Research Center and Judicial Watch pushed the Department of Justice (DOJ) to release an email exchange between Kagan and Supreme Court litigator Professor Laurence Tribe who was then serving in the DOJ.
Among other emails that express Kagans excitement about passing healthcare is this one:
I hear they have the votes, Larry!! Simply amazing, Kagan said to Tribe in one of the emails.
Conservative groups are using this as fuel to call for her recusal.
According to article 28 of the US Constitution 455, a Supreme Court justice must recuse from any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned. The law also says a justice must recuse anytime he or she has expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case in controversy while he or she has served in governmental employment.
During her confirmation hearings, Kagan said she would recuse herself from any case in which [she has] been counsel of record or where she has played any kind of substantial role in the process. In her hearings she testified that she had not had any discussions where any substantive discussion of the litigation occurred.
Russell Wheeler, visiting fellow at the Brookings Institute, told The Christian Post that he didnt see any substantial evidence against Kagan saying that she should step down.
If she really thought her impartiality was compromised, she would step down. No justice wants to say that he or she didnt have prior contact with the case only to be proven wrong in the near future. No Justice is going to try and pull a fast one, especially in todays high tech society where the truth will eventually be found out.
But its not just Republicans who are on the attack. Liberal groups are targeting Thomas, a more conservative voter, because of his wifes work with the Tea Party groups in opposition of healthcare. The liberal magazine titled Mother Jones reported earlier that his wife, Ginni Thomas, has received $150,000 for her work at the conservative organization Liberty Central. According to USA Today, more than 70 democrats wrote Thomas this year urging him to recuse himself saying the line between your impartiality and you and your wife's financial stake in the overturn of health care reform is blurred."
"Your spouse is advertising herself as a lobbyist who has "experience and connections" and appeals to clients who want a particular decision -- they want to overturn health care reform."
However, neither Justice is likely to step down, pundits say.
This is all political maneuvering, Wheeler continued.
What we see in these calls from both Republicans and Democrats is less concern about judicial impartiality and more interest in politics. Wheeler explained that if either party could chase one of the Justices off the case, then that might tilt the odds in their favor.
However, even if the Justices arent taken off the case that could give the losing side ammunition to undermine and weaken the legitimacy of the decision by claiming the vote was tainted.
In any other court, if a justice recuses him or herself, then another judge will simply take his or her place. However, that is not the case with the Supreme Court. If the court has one less member and the vote comes to a standstill at 4-4, then the decision of the lower court will stand.
Almost too rediculous to comment on. Isn’t going to happen...either one...ever!!!
Kegan, I can understand for at least two reasons”
1. She’s a total bimbo.
2. She’s a liberal.
Add the two, and she may as well just stay home and concur with whatever silly idiotic reasoning comes out of the rest of the libtards on the court.
Boy, I can’t believe that I once actually respected judges.
Then I took real courses in university.
So, Kagan “might” be recused because of her own personal involvemant in the passage of this bill and personal statements in support of it while Thomas should be recused because of what his wife believes? How is that fair?
It is kinda funny. What does it matter if two judges from total opposite sides leave. They cancel themselves out anyway. I guess they could have a few weeks of vacation if they decide to recuse themselves. Both sides of this have ZERO to gain in this.
OK. Why should Justice Thomas recuse himself? Ridiculous.
Not exactly, no. While Kagan is an airhead with little chance of having any kind of lasting opinion written, Thomas is intellectually strong with a chance at swaying court opinion for a long time. Even if their “votes” did cancel each other out, it’s their bench opinions that matter.
Kagan has already recused herself in dozens of cases. But not this one? Landmark legal foundation should bring a motion to recuse against her. Chief Justice Roberts may be able to stop her.
Wrong! Kagan SHOULD legally recuse herself based on her history. Thomas should not. The libs created the both/neither situation to negate the correct decision that would work against them.
I think the Democratic party needs to stop listening to James Carville. His views are so obviously tainted by his Republican wife! (sarc)
RE: Chief Justice Roberts may be able to stop her.
I would like to know how he can do it, and if the law allows the Chief Justice to forcibly recuse a fellow justice.
So Thomas must think just like his wife? Just like Snake Head and his wife?
Recusal is a decision by the Justice in question. The liberals have no ethics or morals to do such a thing. They use the Constitution as a doormat, at best. They will lie, cheat, steal, etc., to further their liberal agenda. Period. Why is this even an issue? We already know the result. Thomas needs to stay in there no matter what.
***RE: Chief Justice Roberts may be able to stop her.
I would like to know how he can do it, and if the law allows the Chief Justice to forcibly recuse a fellow justice.*****
My feelings exactly. Is recusal voluntary or is it imposed in some cases?
There is absolutely no comparision of Kagan’s involvement in the Obama Administration and Thomas, whose wife has a political opinion on health care! What liars.