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Scalia's Response on Conflicts of Interest

March 02, 2004

Re "Scalia Took Trip Set Up by Lawyer in Two Cases," Feb. 27: Justice Antonin Scalia responded to claims of conflict of interest arising from his hunting trips with various people with interests in cases before the high court by saying Supreme Court justices "would be permanently barred from social contact with all governors."

Oh, dear. To lose the companionship of 50 people for the duration of their government terms does not seem such a sacrifice in return for occupying, without the taint of favoritism, one of the most powerful positions in the country. That leaves only about 260 million of us to join him on hunting trips. I might be persuaded to go bowling with him.

Alternatively, Scalia could let the rest of his brethren decide those cases involving his hunting partners, without benefit of his campfire stories. Whatever sacrifice he as an individual must make while occupying his judicial seat pales in comparison to the importance of appearing absolutely unbiased to his country and thereby protecting the sanctity of the court.

In return for our trust, he owes us no less.

Valerie Lezin

Los Angeles

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The Times needs to take another look at the even bigger question regarding Justice Scalia. How much contact did he have with President Bush's high-ranking GOP supporters (and maybe his lawyers) during the time that the U.S. Supreme Court was debating the 2000 Florida electoral vote?

Scalia's conflicts of interest in the cases of Vice President Dick Cheney and the University of Kansas School of Law are deeply troubling, but his vote to end the Florida recount and hand the presidency to Bush changed the course of American history.

Dennis M. Clausen

Escondido

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Give me a break. If Scalia and others wanted to cook a case, they did not need a high-profile hunting trip to do it. They could have stayed in Washington and arranged for a pizza, or just as easily picked up the telephone.

Lawrence R. Gordon

Santa Monica

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What will it take for Justice Scalia to recuse himself? It is obvious by now that the man has not much ethics and no class (quack, quack).

Anne Drexler

Torrance

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