ILNews

Professor testifies about recusal

IL Staff
January 1, 2009
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A professor at Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington was in Washington, D.C., Thursday to testify before the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommitee on Courts and Competition.

Professor and judicial ethics expert Charles G. Geyh told the committee that the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Caperton v. A.T. Massey serves as a wake-up call to state and federal courts to begin taking judicial disqualifications more seriously.

Geyh gave a general outlook on judicial disqualification, noting the challenges in having sitting judges decide for themselves whether they can be impartial on the bench. He suggested the issue could be resolved with reforms, including amending U.S. Code to require that contested disqualification motions be heard by a different judge, and by changing the code to require a recusal only if the financial interest of the judge is "significant enough to call a judge's impartiality into question."

"The problem inherent in judicial disqualification is that judges who are deeply committed to the appearance and reality of impartial justice are called upon to acknowledge, in the context of specific cases, that despite their best efforts to preserve their impartiality, they are either partial or appear to be so," Geyh testified. "That is a hard thing to ask of our judges."
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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