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Thursday, 31st December 2009

Testimony -- Broad Array of Tools Ensures Fair and Impartial Adjudication

Broad Array of Tools Ensures Fair and Impartial Adjudication
Source: U.S. Courts

Responding to Congressional queries on the state of federal judicial recusal, a representative of the Judicial Conference of the United States today told a congressional subcommittee that both judges and the public have a broad array of tools and a transparent environment to ensure the fair and impartial adjudication of cases.

Judge M. Margaret McKeown, chair of the Judicial Conference Committee on Codes of Conduct, testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy. In addition to discussing the strong framework established by the federal Judiciary, Judge McKeown provided an overview of the recusal standards applying to federal judges and explained the role that the Codes of Conduct Committee, which is the federal judicial ethics committee, plays in advising judges in ethics issues, including recusal.

Judge McKeown noted that judges must abide by not only the ethics statutes that apply to all public servants, but additional ethics and recusal statutes that apply only to judges. Additionally, the Judicial Conference imposes ethical constraints through its Code of Conduct for United States Judges—a Code that both parallels and expands upon the recusal statutes.

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