Some months ago, a novel if sloppily-crafted recusal motion was filed with SCOTX seeking the recusal of “Justices Jefferson, [sic] Hecht, Brister and [sic] Wainwright [sic]” based upon a U.T. law professor’s “unbiased” recent article chronicling reversal trends of tort cases at the Court.
[O]nly the most obtuse voter could fail to realize that Republican candidates are more likely than Democrats to believe tort liability needs to be curtailed. But advancing an ideology by adopting congenial legal principles is one thing; advancing an anti-tort ideology simply by refusing to allow plaintiffs to succeed is quite another.
David A. Anderson, Judicial Tort Reform in Texas, 26 REV. LITIG. 1, 46 (Winter 2007).
Professor Anderson’s presumption that the outcome of cases granted review or the denial of review to others is premised upon a desire to “refus[e] to allow plaintiffs to succeed” is as breathtakingly obtuse as the voters Professor Anderson presumes to understand.
No less sweeping in generalities or shoddy reasoning is Mr. Martin’s recusal motion, which excludes Justice O’Neill from his list of hopelessly biased Justices on the basis that she dissented six times during a portion of the years examined by Professor Anderson’s article. Of course, Mr. Martin saw no need to study the subject matter of those six cases or the reasoning favored by the majority or Justice O’Neill in her dissents. Not surprisingly, the Justices were unpersuaded to recuse themselves on such a contrived basis and subsequently denied the motion.
Well, leave it to a Florida lawyer to teach Mr. Martin how to recuse a supreme court. After first suing the SCOTUS Justices as well as three judges of the Eleventh Circuit for violating his rights to an impartial tribunal in a child-custody case, Montgomery Sibley sued the SCOTUS Justices for treason for failing to recuse themselves as named defendants in the prior action. Well, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals held the SCOTUS Justices were, of course, protected by judicial immunity from such a suit, but because more than six of the Justices were recused due to the underlying suit, the Court was statutorily forced to summarily and in absentia uphold the D.C. Court’s affirmance of their own immunity. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1, 2109.