You are presumed guilty until proven innocent by a jury of your detractors — which will never happen, of course.
Justice Clarence Thomas is being dragged out for another high-tech lynching. (All in a flimsy effort to keep him from hearing a lawsuit challenging ObamaCare as unconstitutional.) This time various left-leaning groups are reading his mind and finding nefarious dregs of bias.
It turns out, unbeknownst to anyone outside of the Washington, D.C., television viewing area or who has taken a nap in the past 20 years, that Citizens United, the same group who won the First Amendment right to air political ads in a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling, with Thomas in the majority, ran $100,000 worth of television ads in 1991 in the D.C. TV market supporting the confirmation before the Senate of one Clarence Thomas.
Ipso facto, Thomas should’ve recused himself from ruling in the Citizens United case because he had a conflict of interest. To support their presumption of bias a group calling itself Protect Our Elections is citing the Caperton decision, in which the high court said a West Virginia judge should have recused himself in a case involving a coal company that had been independently supportive of his election.
The court duly noted that previously the court had held the Due Process Clause only requires recusal when a judge has “a direct, personal, substantial, pecuniary interest” in a case, but in Caperton they decided recusal is called for when “the probability of actual bias on the part of the judge or decisionmaker is too high to be constitutionally tolerable.”
Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito dissented. Roberts’ dissent noted, “Unlike the established grounds for disqualification, a ‘probability of bias’ cannot be defined in any limited way. The Court’s new ‘rule’ provides no guidance to judges and litigants about when recusal will be constitutionally required. This will inevitably lead to an increase in allegations that judges are biased, however groundless those charges may be. The end result will do far more to erode public confidence in judicial impartiality than an isolated failure to recuse in a particular case.”
You are presumed biased until you rule against those for whom you are assumed to be biased, even if the party is correct. The corollary to this hypothesis is: You’re a conservative; therefore, you are WRONG!