Blast from the past (2004): "Scalia Was Cheney Hunt Trip Guest; Ethics Concern Grows"
(from the 'History that makes you go hmmm' files.)
Scalia Was Cheney Hunt Trip Guest; Ethics Concern Grows
February 05, 2004|David G. Savage and Richard A. Serrano | Times Staff Writers
PATTERSON, La. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia traveled as an official guest of Vice President Dick Cheney on a small government jet that served as Air Force Two when the pair came here last month to hunt ducks.
The revelation cast further doubts about whether Scalia can be an impartial judge in Cheney's upcoming case before the Supreme Court, legal ethics experts said. The hunting trip took place just weeks after the high court agreed to take up Cheney's bid to keep secret the details of his energy policy task force.
According to those who met them at the small airstrip here, the justice and the vice president flew from Washington on Jan. 5 and were accompanied by a second, backup Air Force jet that carried staff and security aides to the vice president. ...Cheney and Scalia were whisked away in a heavily guarded motorcade to a secluded, private hunting camp owned by an oil industry businessman.
Several experts in legal ethics questioned whether Scalia should decide the case. "In my view, this further ratchets it up. If the vice president is the source of generosity, it means Scalia is accepting a gift of some value from a litigant in a case before him," said New York University law professor Stephen Gillers. "It is not just a trip with a litigant. It's a trip at the expense of the litigant. This is an easy case for stepping aside."
Aides to Cheney say the vice president, like the president, is entitled to travel to vacation spots on government jets and to take along guests at no cost. Judges are bound by different rules, however. Federal law says that "any justice or judge shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might be questioned."
When asked about the trip last month, Scalia confirmed that he had gone duck hunting with Cheney, but said he did not see a need to withdraw from the case.
I find it hard to make much of stories like this, regardless of who may be involved. All of these people know and socialize with each other; even supposed "enemies". They fight like cats and dogs on the floor of Congress, then hang out together in the evening.
a quote (from RGB?) that "he would do anything if you took him hunting" (or as close as I can recall).