Tiller Vs. Joyce Cooper Corruption Case Analysis

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Judges Leslie Tiller and Simon Skinner serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, respectively. Each has an involved history with Minnesota’s governor, Joyce Cooper. In this paper, I will argue that the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause bars Skinner, but not Tiller, from hearing two cases to which Cooper is a party: the Sierra Club case and the Cooper Corruption case. I address each of the two cases in parts I and II of the paper. Under each of those parts is two additional subparts, A, which concerns Tiller, and B, which concerns Skinner. I shall assume that the U.S. Constitution and the decisions of its Supreme Court parameterize the questions posed in this …show more content…
The answer, here, is no. In Mayberry, the Court stated, “not every attack on a judge … disqualifies him from sitting.” The Court also noted in In re Murchison (1955), a similar case to Mayberry in which a judge tried two defendants for his own accusation of contempt, that “the information [the judge] acquired from the prior proceeding [] was of critical import” in determining that his presence defied due process. But in Tiller’s circumstance, there is no “prior proceeding” from which to acquire information, and thus, we lack a “critical” element that was once requisite to recusal. Presuming, as we must, that judges are honest arbiters of law, and that due process only concerns extremities, the vilification here does not require …show more content…
A time ago, while serving as a U.S. Attorney, Cooper wrote “OK” on a FBI memo stating its decision to drop federal bribery charges against Cooper. At the surface, the Cooper Corruption case appears similar to Williams, in which the Court held that due process prevented Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ronald Castille from adjudicating a case in which he “had prior involvement … as a prosecutor.” Castille’s “prior involvement” was, while serving as Philadelphia’s district attorney, writing “Approved to proceed on the death penalty” on a subordinate prosecutor’s memo. One may reason that Williams and the instant case appear similar. But, appearances may deceive.
First, the memo that Castille approved concerned the same death penalty case he later adjudicated, but the FBI’s memo to Tiller concerned a different case with different facts. In Williams, the Court surmised that Castille would be “so psychologically wedded to his … previous position as a prosecutor that [he] would … avoid the appearance of having erred or changed position.” But that fear is not present here, for Tiller has no “previous position as a prosecutor” in this case because, quite simply, she has never prosecuted this

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