Four Justices Recuse Themselves: Justice denied is justice denied

Yesterday four members of the Supreme Court had to recuse themselves from a case, and as a result, no decision could be made. Apparently the Justices have not heard of the “rule of necessity.” That rule of thumb says, in essence, that if a court is unable to decide a case because the justices have conflicts, it is more equitable to have a judge with a conflict rule on the case, rather than leaving it undecided. A Supreme Court Justice should be able to render an objective decision even though he or she has some stock in one of the litigants. While not the optimum situation, that is far preferable to saying to the adversaries that the lower court decision is unreviewable.

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