February 17, 2012 |
The tumultuous ethics case against Rep. Maxine Waters, one of Los Angeles' most enduring politicians, took another strange turn Friday as six members of the House Ethics Committee recused themselves from considering the charges against her. Committee Chairman Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) said that all five of the panel's Republicans, including himself, and one Democrat were taking the unusual action of recusing themselves from further involvement in the long-running Waters case "out of an abundance of caution and to avoid even an appearance of unfairness.
February 12, 2012 |
For months there have been repeated calls from Supreme Court watchers for Justices Clarence Thomas and Elena Kagan to recuse themselves from the healthcare litigation to be argued before the court in March. The controversy heightened in December when Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., in his year-end report, argued that not only should Supreme Court justices decide recusal issues solely for themselves, but that some ethical rules that apply to all other federal judges should not bind the justices.
January 3, 2012
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has addressed complaints that a member of the Supreme Court has the last word when it comes to deciding whether to participate in cases in which his impartiality is questioned. Roberts' response: Things are fine as they are. In his end-of-the-year report on the federal judiciary, Roberts insists that the justices abide by the Code of Judicial Conduct, which requires judges to be impartial, even though it doesn't formally apply to the Supreme Court.
December 16, 2011 |
Appearing in a military courtroom Friday for the first time, accused WikiLeaks source Army Pfc. Bradley Manning said he understood the charges against him in a criminal case that involves one of the largest leaks of classified material in U.S. history. The pretrial proceeding got bogged down in legal maneuvering when Manning's civilian lawyer, David Coombs, argued that the presiding military officer could not be impartial because he is also a federal prosecutor. Coombs said Army Reserve Lt. Col. Paul Almanza should step aside because he is the deputy chief prosecutor of the child exploitation and obscenity section of the criminal division of the Department of Justice.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 25, 2011 |
In another jab at the federal judge who ruled against Proposition 8, sponsors of the gay marriage initiative asked a district court Monday to set aside the ruling on the grounds the judge was in a long-term same-sex relationship that posed a conflict of interest. Attorneys for ProtectMarriage, the group that sponsored the 2008 ballot initiative, said in a legal motion that Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who retired from the San Francisco-based district court earlier this year, had a duty to disclose his relationship and step down before deciding whether a ban on same-sex marriage violated the federal Constitution.
January 13, 2011 |
A federal judge from San Diego with extensive experience handling major felony cases will preside over the trial of Tucson shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner, court officials announced Wednesday. U.S. District Judge Larry A. Burns was assigned to Loughner's federal case stemming from Saturday's attack that killed six people, including a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl, and wounded 13, including Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Loughner faces two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder of federal employees.