Numerous Federal Judges have Broken the Law

Over 130 ruled in cases where they had a financial interest.

One hundred and thirty-one federal judges oversaw court cases involving companies in which they or their family members owned stock, according to a new investigation. Those judges violated the law and judicial ethics as they failed to recuse themselves from a total of 685 court cases in which they may have had a conflict of interest. In those cases, about two-thirds of the rulings were in favor of the financial interests of the judges.

The investigation by The Wall Street Journal found the cases took place between 2010 and 2020 and of the two-thirds of federal district judges who disclosed individual stock holdings roughly 20 percent of them heard at least one case that involved their investments.

The Journal notified the judges of its findings. Fifty-six of them began to alert parties involved in 329 of the lawsuits of their conflict of interest. The judges offered various explanations for not disqualifying themselves from the cases for partiality.

While nothing prohibits judges from holding individual stocks, the code of conduct for federal judges requires that they recuse themselves given any financial interest in a case or “ownership of a legal or equitable interest, however small.”

The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts said the matter was “troubling” and that they are “carefully reviewing the matter.”

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For officials at the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts as they determine potential ethics or other charges against the federal judges.
  • For attorneys and litigants as they determine whether there was sufficient conflict to force the re-adjudication of the hundreds of cases.
  • For members of the judiciary to be mindful of conflicts of interest and disqualify themselves accordingly.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, Reuters, The Hill


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