A varied group challenging the legislature’s redistricting plan is seeking to have Justice Paul Newby recused from participating in the case when it reaches the North Carolina Supreme Court. Because Justice Newby benefitted from independent expenditures by super PACs that support conservative causes, these groups contend that Newby’s participation in the case threatens the integrity of the courts.
Judicial bias is different from — and much worse than — a particular judge’s having a judicial philosophy that a litigant does not like. While the former may be grounds for recusal; the latter is not. As a result, distinguishing the two cases becomes critically important.
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Scott Gaylord is an associate professor of law at Elon University School of Law. The Journal welcomes original submissions for guest columns on local, regional and statewide topics. Essay length should not exceed 750 words. The writer should have some authority for writing about his or her subject. Our email address is: Letters@wsjournal.com. Essays may also be mailed to: The Readers’ Forum, P.O. Box 3159, Winston-Salem, NC 27102. Please include your name and address and a daytime telephone number.