More than twenty-four years ago, Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Robert S. Vance was tragically murdered by a bomb mailed to his house.
His murderer, Walter Leroy Moody, is currently sitting on Alabama's death row and is seeking habeas relief in federal courts. At the time of his original prosecution, the Eleventh Circuit found it necessary to recuse themselves, as well as the local district court judges, from the federal case. Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist assigned the case to a Minnesota district court, and when the appeal reached the Eleventh Circuit, a panel of judges from the Fourth Circuit sat by designation.
The question is: twenty-four years later, do the same recusal rules apply?