Ed Whelan takes a preliminary look at the issue of whether the allegations of ethical misconduct by Judge Boyle should preclude his confirmation for a seat on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. These accusations stem from the Judge’s participation in cases involving parties in which he held stock.
Ed concludes that Boyle should be confirmed if the stock holdings were very minor, his participation reasonably appears to have been inadvertent, the outcome of the cases could not possibly have affected the value of his minor stock holdings, and there’s no basis for believing that his decisions were rendered other than impartially. Ed is also betting that, when the facts are fully presented, these conditions will be satisfied.
Ed also shows, based on the confirmation of several Clinton-era nominees, that Democrats have no demonstrated interest in judicial ethics but instead seek to use ethics charges as a partisan club against President Bush’s judicial nominees. Now there’s a surprise.