Friday, September 04, 2009

Instant Analysis of Sotomayor Recusal: No Big Deal

As noted in the previous post, Justice Sonia Sotomayor has recused herself from consideration of Reed Elsevier v. Muchnick. So far as I can immediately tell, it is not a big deal.

It's true that, with eight justices now voting instead of nine, there is the chance of a 4-4 tie -- and a tie would go in favor of upholding the Second Circuit of Appeals ruling now on appeal. But that is a mere function of the change from an odd to an even number. Sotomayor was part of the Second Circuit before her elevation to the Supreme Court, so there is at least an equal measure of speculation that she was inclined to rule in favor of her former court and against the petitioners and respondents arguing against it.

And that's about all I have to say on the Sotomayor recusal.


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