Judicial Watch says NSA judge might have had conflict of interest

Gateway Pundit’s all over it. Here’s the press release at JW. Oh, how the lefties will howl. And oh, with what relish they’d be working this themselves if it had been a Republican judge and the decision had gone the other way.

You shouldn’t need a money trail here to make you believe she was inclined towards the plaintiff. The opinion speaks for itself. But if there simply must be score-settling, this is where it’ll come from. Note in particular Canons 2A, 3C(1)(d)(i) and 5(B)(1). The twist is that she’s not a trustee of one of the parties; she’s a trustee of an organization that helped fund one of the parties. One step removed. Thus it’s a question of the spirit of the law versus the letter. From the commentary for Canon 5(B)(1):

The changing nature of some organizations and of their relationship to the law makes it necessary for a judge regularly to reexamine the activities of each organization with which the judge is affiliated to determine if it is proper for the judge to continue the judge’s relationship with it. For example, in many jurisdictions charitable hospitals are now more frequently in court than in the past. Similarly, the boards of some legal aid organizations now make policy decisions that may have political significance or imply commitment to causes that may come before the courts for adjudication.

Be sure to read to the end of GP’s post. This isn’t the only case she’s been assigned to with a grantee as a party.

She’ll probably walk.

Update: Patterico thinks it’s no big deal, particularly when compared to some of her other ethical “idiosyncracies.”

Update: E.M. agrees with Patterico:

Interestingly, the New York Times views this as no big deal–and to be truthful, in the grand scheme of Judges-who-do-strange-and-vaguely-objectionable things, its not a big deal, though really, Judge Diggs should have disclosed this tidbit before she decided to take a case from an organization that clearly had no ability to bring one. Lots of judges serve on lots of Boards who direct lots of funds to strange places. As minor legal celebrities, they provide a little bit of legitimacy to an organization, and can drive up the price of Pancake Breakfast tickets in a heartbeat. Frankly, the fact that she tried to steal a case from Bernard Friedman just so she could rule on it, and was appointed by Jimmy Carter (of all people) should have really been the flashing Blue Light on her political idealism and her ability to be impartial, not her extracurricular activities.