Breaking the law and judicial ethics, more than 130 federal judges failed to recuse themselves from 685 court cases since 2010 involving companies in which they or their families owned stock, The Wall Street Journal reports. Some of the judges were appointed as far back as Lyndon Johnson; others by Donald Trump.
The WSJ alerted dozens of these judges to their improprieties, resulting in 56 of the judges asking their court clerks to notify parties in 329 lawsuits that they should not have presided over the trials. The Journal says that the courts might assign new judges to these cases.
In two-thirds of these cases, the judges ruled in favor of the company in which they or their family members held the stock, according to the WSJ.
The article goes on to detail many of these cases and to name the judges, saying, "The hundreds of recusal violations found by the Journal breach a bedrock principle of American jurisprudence: No one should be a judge of hir or her own cause. Congress first laid out that princple in 1792, to guarantee litigants an impartial judge and reassure the public that courts could be trusted."
The cases involved major U.S. corporations, including Google parent Alphabet Inc., Comcast, Exxon Mobil, Ford Motor Company and JPMorgan Chase.
The Journal contacted a few of the judges in question for comment. Judge Timothy Batten Sr., when told of his conflicts of interest, said: "I just blew it. I regret any question that I've created an appearance of impropriety or a conflict of interest."
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