A new report has revealed that US District Court Judge Terrence Boyle, President Bush’s nominee to the Fourth US Circuit Court of Appeals, failed to recuse himself from nine cases in which he had a conflict of interest. According to Salon and the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), five corporations in which Judge Boyle acknowledged having financial investments were party to the nine cases. Boyle ruled for the company in which he was invested in the majority of these cases but violated federal law simply by agreeing to hear the case, regardless of his ruling, according to Salon.
Normally, a computer system would assign cases and eliminate conflicts of interest but, Salon reports, “Boyle’s courtÉdoesn’t use the system. Instead judges themselves are responsible for looking over cases assigned to them.” Professor Monroe Freedman, who teaches ethics at the Hofstra University School of Law, stated to Salon that by refusing to recuse himself, “He is disregarding the law.”
According to the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, Boyle’s rulings have been overturned by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals more than 150 times, and he has issued numerous opinions hostile to affirmative action, women’s rights, fair employment, and voting rights. The Feminist Majority is opposing Terrence Boyle’s confirmation, along with a broad coalition of women’s rights, civil rights, disability rights, lesbian and gay rights, and labor groups.