TILTING THE SCALES OF JUSTICE?

by Jnana Hodson

While the right-wing has been howling its belief that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was the victim of a conspiracy – claims the judge’s son has had to refute – a more disturbing question has emerged over Scalia’s ethical standards. Just how neutral and impartial was he in some of his court rulings? What impacted his decisions apart from the law itself? Should he have recused himself?

When he died of a heart attack in his sleep, Antonin Scalia was staying at the 30,000-acre Cibolo Creek Ranch resort owned by billionaire John B. Poindexter a few miles from the border with Mexico.

Blind justice for all, a keystone of American jurisprudence, demands its jurors avoid the slightest appearance of partiality. This would seem especially true for a high court that has repeatedly sided with the super-rich in its decisions.

Alas, as the Washington Post reported last night, “Why Justice Scalia was staying for free at a Texas resort,”

One of Poindexter’s companies was involved in a case that made it to the high court. Last year, the Supreme Court declined to hear a case involving an age discrimination lawsuit filed against one of these companies, court records show.

I find it hard to look at this as anything other than a gift. It’s hard to be objective when you have friends on one side of the case. Looks like a favor returned for a favor, even if perchance it wasn’t.

And so we’re free to start wondering about many other decisions. It’s bound to happen if you hobnob with billionaires.

It’s cause for Lady Justice to weep.

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