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Judge Alito and the Ethics of Nina Totenberg

There's a nice piece on the Legal Ethics Forum about Judge Alito's purported misfeasance in declining to recuse himself from a case involving the Vanguard mutual funds management company, when the Judge knowingly invested in Vanguard mutual funds.

The article correctly points out that hearing the case was, at most, a "whoops", a technical error of the kind that we all make every day. The conflict of interests was of the indirect sort (owning mutual funds versus owning the management company), and Vanguard was not sued for its own misfeasance anway, but was more a technical party to the case. In any case the appeal result was replicated by another panel.

The blog author is not tender toward Ms. Nina Totenberg: "I have a hard time believing Ms. Totenberg did not know the facts of the underlying case, which makes me wonder why she filed the report she filed." Some of us, who remember Totenberg's behavior when [now DC Circuit Chief Judge] Doug Ginsburg was appointed to the High Court, don't wonder at all.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.