Ethics Issue Presentation

Posted: October 17th, 2013

Ethics Issue Presentation






Ethics Issue Presentation

Vice president Dick Cheney is facing an appeal case where the United States Supreme Court Associate, Justice Antonin Scalia intends not to recuse. People have questioned Scalia’s impartiality and fairness in relation to the case. Because of this, they feel Scalia should recuse himself from the Vice president Dick Cheney’s case. However, in a twenty one-page memorandum, Scalia declared his decision of not recusing from Cheney’s case. “I do not believe my impartiality can reasonably be questioned,” says Scalia. He dismissed the accusations from the Sierra Club environmental group that required him to recuse himself from the case since went with Cheney to a hunting trip in January. The environmental group club feels this gave an impropriety impression. This trip occurred three weeks before the appeal. However, Scalia denies being alone with Cheney during the hunting trip or even discussing the case (Mears, 2004).








(Auth, 2004).

(Mear, 2004).

The Supreme Court justices have the power to remove themselves from certain cases. However, Scalia’s decision may cause the public to lose confidence in the court system. I do not agree with Justice Scalia’s memorandum. This is because the Federal law requires the judges and justices to remove themselves from the cases if the public starts questioning their impartiality or fairness. Therefore, since Scalia’s fairness and impartiality was questioned, it would be wise for him to recuse the case. Scalia argues that socializing with the high-level executives is not wrong which is true. It is not realistic for the federal government officials to sacrifice their personal and social lives at the expense of their country. However, the Americans are optimistic when it comes to the high court. They expect the justices to go to extraordinary lengths when it comes to justice. They expect the justices to avoid cases of self-interest or bias when it comes to the law (Mears, 2004).

Scalia makes Americans uncomfortable with his choice of not recusing the case. The Americans are familiar with scandals. Therefore, they always suspect any act that may lead to injustice. It will be wise for Scalia to recuse himself from the case before the hearing. I agree with the sentiments expressed in the political cartoon. This is because the timing of the hunting trip raises eyebrows. Cheney’s office pleaded with the Supreme Court to review Cheney’s case. Two months after the acceptance of the appeal, Scalia and Cheney had dinner and a month later, they were together at a hunting trip. This is enough to make the Americans question Scalia’s fairness and impartiality. In addition, during another case in the Supreme Court, Scalia recused himself after expressing a personal opinion in a public forum matter. He already led his opinion in a court case once. Therefore, there is a great chance of this happening again with Cheney who is a long time friend of his (Auth, 2004).

It might be true that Cheney and Scalia did not spend time together during the hunting trip. However, the federal law states that a judge should step down upon the questioning of his impartiality. Since Scalia has made his impartiality be questioned once in a different case involving the “under God”, he argues that justices have always spent time with the officials. However, he forgets that there is a significant difference between his situation and that of the other justices. He had dinner, spent a long flight and two days together in a hunting trip with Cheney. Therefore, his situation is not comparable with the other justices’ situations. Scalia made a big mistake by going to the hunting trip with Cheney who is yet to face an appeal. Cheney is facing accusations, which are yet to be judged by Scalia. Therefore, it is only natural for people to feel that they discussed the case. Because of the public unrest and questions on Scalia’s impartiality, Scalia should leave the case to the other eight Justices. In addition, Justice Scalia understands the ethical issues related to such circumstances. This is because he once recused himself from a case. Therefore, it is unrealistic for him to refuse withdrawing the case when it may affect the public confidence on the court system. Next time he should think twice before engaging himself with someone he is about to judge (Auth, 2004).














Auth. (Feb. 14, 2004). “50 newspapers” Editorial cartoons Table of contents. Retrieved from

Mears, B. (March 18, 2004). “Scalia won’t recuse himself from Cheney case” CNN Justice. Retrieved from


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