$125,000 Sounds Like a Little More Than Just

…keeping your dues current.

Conflict of Interest Is Raised in N.S.A. Ruling
The federal judge who ruled last week that President Bush’s eavesdropping program was unconstitutional is a trustee and an officer of a group that has given at least $125,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union in Michigan, a watchdog group said Tuesday.
The group, Judicial Watch, a conservative organization here that found the connection, said the link posed a possible conflict for the judge, Anna Taylor Diggs, and called for further investigation.
“The system relies on judges to exercise good judgment, and we need more information and more explanation about what the court’s involvement was in support of the A.C.L.U.,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, which gained attention in the 1990’s for ethics accusations against President Bill Clinton.
Three legal ethicists interviewed said although Judge Taylor’s role as a trustee for a supporter of the civil liberties group would not necessarily disqualify her from hearing the case, she should have probably disclosed the connection in court to avoid any appearance of a conflict.
“It certainly would have been prudent” to notify the parties in the case, including the Justice Department, about the issue, said Steven Lubet, a law professor at Northwestern University and an author of “Judicial Conduct and Ethics.”
“I don’t think there’s a clear answer as to whether she should have disqualified herself,” Professor Lubet said. “But at a minimum, she should have disclosed it.

You would think. But since it was hardly in her self interest (and that of her ‘club’) to do so ~ I mean, how often does such a juicy tidbit drop in your jurisprudenal lap? A chance to strike a blow against the man? ~ it’s easier to say nothing, make your point in court and defend yourself later when the sh*t hits the fan. If you disclosed something like this prematurely (read: before you get your shot at it), there might be enough noise generated that you’d have to step aside.

…The Web site for the group that supported the A.C.L.U., the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan in Detroit, lists Judge Taylor as its secretary and a trustee. It indicates that trustees make all financing decisions for the organization, whose assets exceed $350 million and which gives grants for a variety of community projects.
Judge Taylor declined to comment on the matter on Tuesday, and the foundation did not respond to a message for comment on what role if any she had in awarding the civil liberties grants.
The executive director of the Michigan A.C.L.U., Kary Moss, said her group had received four grants totaling $125,000 from the foundation since 1999. They were a $20,000 grant in 1999 for an educational program on the Bill of Rights, $60,000 in 2000, along with the N.A.A.C.P. and other groups for education on racial profiling, $20,000 in 2002 for work on racial profiling and $25,000 in 2002 for a lawyer to work on gay rights.

Most times when I hear people screaming ‘activist judges’ in these perpetual campaign ads and conservative sound bites, my ‘blahblahblah‘ meter kicks into overdrive. This is America and you don’t always get what you want. Then, every once in a while, along comes the Jimmy Carter connected poster child for ‘activist’ and I wonder if the left has taken leave of the few senses they have…well…left. How is it that they can be so blinded by their own indignation that the rules obstreperously applicable to others don’t apply to them?

2 Responses to “$125,000 Sounds Like a Little More Than Just”

  1. Nightfly says:

    Obstreperous! Oh, bless you, Ms. Sister! O frabjous word!

  2. I live to serve, Diptera.

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