Tuesday, June 23, 2009
From the web page of the Ohio Supreme Court:
An Indiana University law school professor will offer his perspectives on judicial disqualification and recusal issues – including a recently decided U.S. Supreme Court recusal case – at the closing session this week of the annual common pleas court judges summer meeting.
Professor Charles Geyh will lead a discussion on judicial ethics and speech on Friday. Part of his remarks will center on the Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co. case out of West Virginia.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 8 that elected judges should disqualify themselves from ruling in cases involving people who have contributed huge sums of money to support a judge’s election or re-election campaign. In the 5-4 decision, the justices concluded that a West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals justice should not have taken part in a dispute between two coal companies because the owner of one of the firms had spent $3 million to help elect the justice.
In remarks to the media before the case was argued, Geyh said the case has “wide-ranging implications for the future of judicial elections, judicial impartiality and public confidence in the courts. With judicial elections becoming ever more contentious and expensive affairs, and with nearly 90 percent of the public thinking that a judge is influenced by their campaign contributions, much hangs in the balance.”
The Ohio Common Pleas Judges Association three-day educational program also features sessions on Rules of Evidence and case law, a civil law update, an Ohio Judicial Conference update, House Bill 130 and other felony sentencing bills, an Ohio courts update, and what works in reducing recidivism.