October 1, 2002
KEEPING UP APPEARANCES:
Justice who gave money to Torricelli should recuse himself, legislator says
(Politics NJ, 01 Oct 2002)
New Jersey's newest state Supreme Court Justice, Barry T. Albin, was a contributor to Sen. Bob Torricelli's campaign and should recuse himself from a hearing tomorrow to consider whether Democrats can replace the Senator on the ballot, a GOP Assemblyman said today.
"A Judge should not participate in any decision in which his impartiality might reasonably be called into question," said Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll, a Morris County Republican. "If Justice Albin donated to the Torricelli campaign, participation in this case would inevitably entail the impression of impropriety."
"Especially in view of the fact that the statute herein involved does not authorize the relief sought, and the Court is being asked to craft a remedy with huge political consequences, the participation of a new Justice, with a history of recent contributions to one of the affected parties, inevitably creates the impression of partisanship. Justice Albin should not participate in rendering the decision."
How high can you stack ugly?
Posted by Orrin Judd at October 1, 2002 7:18 PM
You can stack it until it falls. Someone is going to yell Jenga!
soon. Very soon.
Why I put "s" instead of "i" I'll never know.
Wow. Do you think they'll get away with this one?
Wait for the next unbelievable gambit. If this one fails, plan "B" is to have McGreevy cancel the elections by appointing a person to fill out the Torch's remaining term. And, since Torch will bail within 30 days (five days hence), the replacement will, by NJ statute, be allowed to wait until the elections of 2004. Undoubtedly, the SCOTUS will want to weigh in since senators are FEDERAL offices and this is a federal election. It is like 2000 all over again. The depths that the demos will go to keep the Senate is truly unfathomable.
Carroll is absolutely right! Remember how Scalia and Thomas recused themselves in Bush v. Gore when it became apparent that their son and wife, respectively, stood to gain from a Bush victory. Albin should follow that fine example.
If I understand this correctly, Judge Albin's donation, if it was to Torricelli in 2000 will be available to the Democrat who gets put on the ticket once the Torch transfers the funds. He'll essentially be deciding who gets his own contribution. That's alot more direct conflict than a prospective job in the next administration.
You're wrong. Any replacement (if T. resigns) will only fill the remainder of his current term. The winner of the Nov. election (whoever that might be) will take office in Jan. 2003. There is no provision for the Gov. to cancel an Federal election.
I don't see the conflict. Torricelli is not a party to the action.
The unstated premise must be that the judge's contribution to a Democratic candidate gives rise to a conflict of interest if the Democrats appear a party to any litigation. That's a pretty cynical stretch.
It seems to be increasingly clear that the Democrats simply do not believe in the rule of law, and that their pursuit of victory at any cost, begun by Gore in Florida, is beginning to politicize the judicial process in a fashion that will be impossible for courts to withstand. Their blatant politics in trying to keep qualified conservative judges off the federal bench is part of that process of politiization.
And now, the Republicans are contributing to the process, which will only make things worse.
The law, I belioeve, allows the Torch to transfer his campaign coffer to his successor. The judge's contribution is among those contributions.
This is sad, I feel sorry for the good citizens of NJ. As for the Democrats, take your medicine -- the national party backed an extremely ethically challenged man, and when he was faced with defeat they tried to bend the rules so that someone who has a shot of winning can now run.
Pathetic. What happened to "playing by the rules"? What happened to a Senator that actually represents the citizens of his/her state, not the national party (Dem or GOP)?
I'm guessing that the Dems will pull the "30 days" gambit. Personally, this will be a crock if they can get away with it. Hmm, your party's candidate is losing in the polls, so you're allowed to bring in a new guy at your convenience? What a joke.
New Jersey is getting close to Florida in national ridicule. The state where the candidate from "the people's party", Corzine, literally bought himself a Senate seat.
You Democrats out there, wonder why Enron's not sticking? It's friends of the GOP who are in trouble with the law. It's the office-holders in the Democratic party (Traficant, Torch) that are in trouble with the law.
I have two words for you.
> There is no provision for the Gov.
> to cancel an Federal election.
It's a state
election. And the Gov. can postpone it by a year if Torricelli resigns from the Senate (which he hasn't done yet, but would if the NJ Supreme Court doesn't play ball) within 30 days of the election.
"It's a state election. And the Gov. can postpone it by a year if Torricelli resigns from the Senate (which he hasn't done yet, but would if the NJ Supreme Court doesn't play ball) within 30 days of the election."
Nope. The 17th Amendment mandates elections for U.S. Senate, thus making it a federal
So Torricelli was running for state senator? Because he'd have to have been for it to be a state election.
Look, on November 5th both state and federal elections will be held in all 50 states. Torricelli is a U.S. Senator and the election to the U.S. Senate is a Federal Election to state wide office. His term expries in January of 2003 and despite what NJ state statutes dicate I highly doubt that the governor of New Jersey has the authority to extend the term of a sitting senator by two years. Then the SCOTUS will get involved for sure.
If New Jersey had better beaches it would almost be Florida. ~Eugene Volokh
That's Congressman Harris to you.
As someone on this site has already mentioned, the Dems are playing this perfectly. This will go to SCOTUS, where, by a 5-4 vote, the justices will have to undo a liberal New Jersey Supreme Court's completely unhinged decision. Dems can say that Forrester was elected by Scalia and Uncle T(h)omas, rousing their base, and further emboldening their ranks to oppose Bush judicial nominees.
oj - check out what Richard Painter, a law professor who is one of the top experts in legal ethics, has to say http://volokh.blogspot.com/>
Besides, your hypothetical won't happen - the Torch will need the money for his legal expenses....