The Supreme Court’s Inadequate Recusal Policy

Source: The American Prospect
by Steven Lubet

“U.S. Supreme Court justices can use concurring opinions to clarify, amplify, or even distance themselves from the majority opinion of the Court. Sometimes, the simple fact of concurrence, without any explanation, can tell us a great deal — perhaps more than intended — about a justice’s outlook and approach to the law. That is what happened when Justice Amy Coney Barrett joined Chief Justice Roberts’s 6-3 majority opinion in Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta, a case in which she should have recused herself. The Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF) brought the lawsuit to challenge a California law requiring charitable organizations to disclose the identities of their major donors to the state attorney general’s office. Organizations across the political spectrum … joined the litigation as amici curiae. It was the lead plaintiff, however, that created the conflict of interest for Justice Barrett.” (07/07/21)