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Unexplained Recusals Return in the New SCOTUS Term

Today, the Supreme Court granted another 13 cases for the upcoming term that begins on Monday.

Only one of them included a recusal: Justice Sotomayor will be stepping aside from RJR Nabisco, Inc., et al. v. European Community, et al., a case that involves the Colombian and Russian mobs and illegal cigarette sales, presumably since the case originated in the Second Circuit, which is where Sotomayor served before being nominated to the high court in 2009.

Since the justices of the Supreme Court do not explain their reasons for recusing themselves from certain cases (due to a perceived or actual conflict of interests), Fix the Court will be trying to put the pieces together for you in a series we’re calling “Took No Part,” since the phrase used in Supreme Court orders noting a recusal is “Justice [X] took no part in the consideration or decision of this petition.”

There are likely more unexplained recusals to come out of the orders from the Sept. 28 conference, which we expect on Monday.

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