Prof. James Sample: Calls for Thomas to Recuse Himself From Health Care Case Are ‘Somewhat Opportunistic’

James Sample, Associate Professor of Law

Health Care Challenge Could Trigger Recusal Debate

By Zachary Roth

Yahoo! News, The Lookout

February 16, 2011



James Sample, a professor at Hofstra Law School who has written widely on the issue, told The Lookout that he views the calls for Thomas to recuse himself from the health care case as “somewhat opportunistic”.  But Sample said that, generally speaking, justices themselves are awkwardly positioned to make decisions about their own recusal.  “The notion of an individual justice deciding whether they should recuse, without review, cuts against the grain of every other norm of American and basic western law,” he said.

“In the Supreme Court context, we need to be sensitive to the notion that we have a very elite group of individuals who are entitled to an extraordinary presumption of fairness,” Sample allowed.  But he added that they “still have the obligation to hold themselves to the highest spirit of the law.”

To read the full article, visit news.yahoo.com.