Friday, February 19, 2016

Influence

Was Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia subject to undue influence?

This article at the Washington Post raises serious questions about influence on certain of his decisions.

While I strongly disagreed with some of his decisions, I wanted to believe he made them from principles of law. Now I have grave doubts.

If past Supreme Court decisions were made in favor of private influence, and the legal arguments were a cynical covering for personal interests, does the next court have a duty to review those decisions?

The questions and consequences of influence on Supreme Court judges are too important to ignore. There must be a thorough and impartial investigation of Justice Scalia's trip to the luxury compound, Cibolo Creek Ranch, and answers to who paid for his plane fare, and who were the other guests. What little we already know is very disturbing. The only way to assure the independence and integrity of our highest court is to follow the questions that are raised by his actions, regardless of where they lead.

Justice Scalia's refusal in the past to recuse himself from a particular case where he was considered to have a conflicting interest does not inspire confidence in the circumstances of his death. Justices have traditionally made full disclosures of any gifts, including air fare, speaking fees, etc. Now we are left with sad questions about Antontin Scalia, and what he really was doing at the ranch where he died.

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