I find that the articles published in the “Left Said, Right Said” column fall far below the standard that should be held in our student newspaper. Too often the opinions expressed are made to sway the reader toward the writer’s party, but often the discussion is superficial. The issues chosen hold potential for serious debate, but the writers fall back on talking points of the party. I wish to submit an issue for discussion and a general guide for the writers to reply to.
The health care laws recently passed have been legally challenged a number of times. Rulings have been split evenly in favor of and against repeal. It is believed that it is only a matter of time before the Supreme Court hears the case. Though the challenge to the law has yet to reach the Supreme Court, there has been a call for certain judges to recuse themselves from presiding over the case. Judge Clarence Thomas, in particular, has become a focal point. The claim is that his wife was employed by a group that supports the repeal of the health care laws and that he did not disclose her employment. He claims the omission was a mistake, but regardless of his intention, why is anyone asking him to recuse himself? Because his wife has political preferences, do they transfer to the Justice? Should a Justice be asked to step down because they have political affiliations?
The judges of the Supreme Court have supposedly been chosen on their merits and should be believed to do their best to uphold the intentions of the constitution. Any discussion of a Justice includes their political affiliation, but why should it? Why should political affiliation influence the abilities of a Justice to decide the legality of cases brought before the Court? Those few that are appointed to the court have been vetted to insure they are competent by reviewing their judgments for consistency in upholding the law. Supposedly they have been cleared of judging with a bias. The argument about monetary compensation is a red herring. The real motivation here is political.
Calling for a Supreme Court Justice to recuse one’s self shows we do not believe they are capable of making the decisions we’ve appointed them to make. It also reveals that those calling for a judge to recuse themselves do not care about the validity of the law passed, but are only concerned with protecting their vested interest. In other words, Democrats calling for Judge Thomas to recuse himself do not care if he can judge impartially. They care that if they are successful in their attempt to force him out that there may be one less vote for the repeal of the health care laws. Our only concern should be, does the law remain within the confines of the constitution, and should we trust those we have chosen to judge?
What I wish to see discussed is, under what circumstance should we call for judges to recuse themselves, and if such circumstances are met, should the judge step down from their post because they have been shown to be unable to judge impartially? And, do any of the judges being asked to recuse themselves fit the criteria?
I am unsure of what criteria should be met to ask a Justice to recuse themselves, but I do believe that should that criteria be met, the Justice should be forced to resign.