Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Duck Out

E.J. Dionne on Scalia’s recusal refusal:

This is a scandal. Because of ideological connivance across the branches of our political system, we are abandoning the checks and balances that make our government work. Scalia put aside his own long-standing convictions on issues involving states’ rights and equal protection to find a way to put Bush and Cheney in office. Now he says we shouldn’t worry that he is friendly with the guy whose case he is deciding in the middle of another election campaign.

Citing past rulings, Scalia wrote in his apologia that his “recusal would be required if, by reason of the actions described above, my ‘impartiality might reasonably be questioned.’ ” True, Scalia’s impartiality can’t be questioned. It can’t even be imagined. The justice’s memo makes clear that he’s in the wrong line of work. [Washington Post]

I don’t know why anyone is surprised by Scalia’s scornful refusal. He’s the poster boy for the Republican attitude of smug, snotty arrogance. The outcome of the lawsuit involving Cheney and the Sierra Club has never been in doubt, so why cloud the issue with the possibility of impartiality?