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Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

Conservative Judge Corruption: Failure To Recuse Under Conflict of Interest

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Majority of judges hearing drilling moratorium appeal attended oil-funded junkets – the headline from Climate Progress is salient.

The Obama administration’s original drilling moratorium was rejected by a lower court.  The administration appealed to the 5th Circuit of the Court of Appeals.  Unreported in corporate media circles,

Judges Jerry Smith and Eugene Davis, both of whom are assigned to yesterday’s panel, attended expense-paid junkets for judges sponsored by an oil-industry front group.  The third judge on the panel, Judge James Dennis, has not received any free trips from the oil industry, but he is heavily invested in oil stocks with investments that may total as much as $305,000.

Do you want to guess how the court ruled?  The moratorium was rejected, of course, while litigation continues.

Why did these judges allow themselves to even hear the case?  All three have some degree of bias due to their past activities and investments.  Industry literally owns at least two branches of our federal government.  Despite our money paying their salaries and benefits, unelected officials cannot help themselves but to rule in favor of industries they invest in.


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