Justice Michael Gableman has been asked to step aside in a criminal matter because he — and groups supporting him — said he was tough on crime.There's just a wee bit more to it than that.— law professor Rick Esenberg
And the hyperbolic coup de grâce:
If that works, there will literally be no one who has ever had a contested race who can sit on a criminal case.Good grief. As clearly evidenced by his unprecedented ethical imbroglio, nobody has conducted a race like Gableman did.
As a prominent and assiduous Gableman enabler, Rick Esenberg should know that as well as anybody. Literally.
eta: Esenberg claims Paul Soglin (Wisconsin '72) is not a lawyer, although Esenberg is correct in his view that Soglin's reaction to Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co. is baselessly "triumphalist."
The factual circumstances specific to Caperton are so over-the-top outrageous, so blatantly corrupt, they're unlikely to be repeated.* And it's even unlikelier that anyone will succeed in applying Caperton to a set of facts any less over-the-top outrageous and corrupt.
Especially important — and something few, if any, commenters have mentioned thus far — are the questionable gyrations in reasoning that Justice Brent Benjamin had to perform in order to reach the result favorable to his benefactor, A.T. Massey CEO Don Blankenship.
But not for those, his disposition may well have survived unscathed.
Caperton is a one-off, much like Bush v. Gore. The Supreme Court couldn't not let the West Virginia situation pass without comment.
The handwringing on both ends of the spectrum is much ado about nothing and as I said earlier, the most significant observation made by the majority was to reiterate that State courts are essentially unbound by federal law from devising their own recusal standards.
* I occasionally allow my idealism to override my cynicism. But it admittedly requires some effort.