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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Recusal, Government Ethics, And Superannuated Constitutional Theory, Keith Swisher Dec 2012

Recusal, Government Ethics, And Superannuated Constitutional Theory, Keith Swisher

Keith Swisher

Something good and something bad happened recently in government and judicial ethics; no one has truly noticed yet for some reason. The Supreme Court all but banned First Amendment analysis as applied to recusal laws, both legislative and judicial. That, actually, is the good thing, or so I argue. The bad thing is that the Court, in doing so, used a geriatric approach to constitutional theory. The approach is unduly reverent of anything “old;” and old is not limited to the practices of the Founding Fathers, but also includes “traditional” practices within some undefined range. But what is old is ...


Legal Ethics And Campaign Contributions: The Professional Responsibility To Pay For Justice, Keith Swisher Jan 2011

Legal Ethics And Campaign Contributions: The Professional Responsibility To Pay For Justice, Keith Swisher

Keith Swisher

Lawyers as johns, and judges as prostitutes? Across the United States, attorneys (“johns,” as the analogy goes) are giving campaign money to judges (“prostitutes”) and then asking those judges for legal favors in the form of rulings for themselves and their clients. Despite its pervasiveness, this practice has been rarely mentioned, much less theorized, from the attorneys’ ethical point of view. With the surge of money into judicial elections (e.g., Citizens United v. FEC), and the Supreme Court’s renewed interest in protecting justice from the corrupting effects of campaign money (e.g., Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal ...