Faculty Faculty Notes

Prof. Ellen Yaroshefsky Comments on the President’s Tweet on Recusal of SCOTUS

Official photo of Hofstra Law faculty member Ellen Yaroshefsky, the Howard Lichtenstein Distinguished Professor of Legal Ethics and Executive Director of the Monroe H. Freedman Institute for the Study of Legal Ethics

‘Ridiculous and Unhelpful’: Commentary on Trump’s Bashing of SCOTUS
By Marcia Coyle
The National Law Journal
Feb. 25, 2020


Many legal scholars quickly rose to defend the justices, and lambaste or question Trump, who has regularly derided the independence of the federal judiciary as an unfair check on the ability of his administration to set policy.

Ellen Yaroshefsky, Hofstra University Law School: “The presidential tweet to recuse a Supreme Court justice for an opinion she wrote is absurd and demonstrates a disturbing lack of understanding of the role of the judiciary. It’s pure political pandering. Sotomayor is being a judge and her comments were not directed at Trump but at the other justices. As far as Justice Ginsburg is concerned, her earlier comment was unwise and she has apologized. She can decide individual cases based on law just as others do even if they have unexpressed or expressed opinions about individuals or entities.”

Yaroshefsky said about Thomas and his wife:  “Ginni Thomas is an ongoing issue. If she played a significant role in some underlying events that lead to the Supreme Court, one could say Justice Thomas should think about recusing himself—but generally speaking, this is not a basis for widespread recusals. Theoretically, Justice Thomas is deciding the cases independent of his wife’s views.”

Read the full article on the Law.com website.