University of Pittsburgh

Arthur Hellman Quoted by Wall Street Journal on Shutdown and Federal Courts

Publish Date/Time: 
October 16, 2013

Some federal courts have responded to the federal government “shutdown” by declaring all of their employees “essential.” Would judges in those courts have to disqualify themselves if presented with a legal challenge to similar decisions by executive branch agencies? The Wall Street Journal posed that question to Pitt Law Professor Arthur D. Hellman, an expert on federal courts. Hellman said that there could be an ethical question, particularly “if the judge presiding over such a dispute had a hand in crafting the court’s own shutdown policy.”
Hellman added: “Very likely any such suit would be thrown out on standing grounds, but you would still need judges to throw it out.”

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