The Chief Justice Makes the Right Call, Recuses From Petition Due to His Role with Smithsonian
Did you know that the Chief Justice of the United States is also the chancellor of the Smithsonian Institution? As if he doesn’t have enough on his plate, what with the pending impeachment trial and all.
It’s a job he takes seriously, having brought up this role in several public appearances over the years, and this week it even caused a cert.-stage recusal.
An Elmira, N.Y., artist is suing the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery (right) for violating his rights by not displaying a portrait of President Trump he painted.
Though Smithsonian museums are administered by the U.S. government, their staff can generally display whatever they wants, so there’s likely not much of a case here.
Even so, due to his role with the Smithsonian, Chief Justice Roberts rightly decided to disqualify himself from deciding what to do with the petition. (The rest of the justices denied review.)
This also means we’ve added a new category of recusal to our running tally:
– Stock/property ownership
– Family/personal ties
– Named in case
– Not yet on court
– Previous work
– Current work