Thursday, February 05, 2004

This Is an Activist Judge

Lots of conservatives prattle on about the damage being done by "activist" judges. Those are the ones who disagree with conservatives on the way law is interpreted, of course. Well here's some judicial activism of the conservative sort. As laid out in this Findlaw column, the Supreme Court will shortly hear a case seeking the disclosure of information about Dick Cheney's secret energy task force. The decision will no doubt have major political ramifications. Which may be why Cheney has met with Justice Antonin Scalia twice since the case was presented to the Supreme Court for review. Most judges, given the close personal relationship between Cheney and Scalia, would recuse themselves in a heartbeat. Scalia refuses to do so.

Unfortunately, that decision is not subject to review. Nor should it be a surprise. Scalia took part in the case deciding the 2000 presidential election, in spite of the fact that his son worked for Dubya's campaign. Staying on the court, in spite of valid reasons to step away, to hear a tight fought politically volatile case is as activist as it gets.

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