27 September 2005

Conflict of Interest on Ohio Supreme Court?

FirstEnergy has a court case at the Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday to decide whether it can continue some of its billing practices. But 5 of Ohio's 7 justices have received a total of $125,000 in campaign contributions, about half going to Chief Justice Tom Moyer.

Before the Bush era, there was a general rule about avoiding the appearance of impropriety, let alone impropriety itself. Do these campaign contributions not lend themselves to the appearance of impropriety? Do we consider the appearance of judges being bought to be acceptable? Will we hear any cries of "judicial activism" when corporations are likley to be the beneficiaries?

As of this point none of the justices have indicated they will recuse themselves.

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