On Monday, October 18, Clinical Professor of Law Doron Kalir was interviewed by Joe Ingles of Ideastream Public Media on the issue of Ohio Supreme Court Justice Patrick DeWine. Justice DeWine recently announced he will not recuse himself from the trio of cases filed against the Ohio Redistricting Commission, of which his father — Governor Mike DeWine — is a member.
Professor Kalir explained that while he has no reason to suspect actual bias by the Justice, U.S. Supreme Court precedent and the Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct are satisfied with a situation where the Justice’s impartiality would be “reasonably called into question.” The confluence of circumstances in this case — the fact it arrives at the Supreme Court as a case of original jurisdiction; the fact the Justice’s father may directly gain (or lose) from the ruling; and the fact that the case is fraught with political implications — all point to a justified recusal.
One thing that was left out of the broadcasted interview was Professor Kalir’s opinion that by refusing to recuse himself, the Justice increases the likely exposure of a U.S. Supreme Court review. While the Court would likely not intervene in an internal state issue (such as redrawing the maps), the Supreme Court had ruled, on several occasions, that a refusal to recuse by a state judge may involve a 14th Amendment Due Process issue.
The interview can be found here.