U.S. Supreme Court - The FindLaw U.S. Supreme Court Opinion Summaries Blog

Kavanaugh Recused in 3 Cases From D.C. Circuit

Given all the controversy leading up to Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation, many legal commentators and pundits have asserted various opinions on whether Justice Kavanaugh will need to recuse himself from various cases.

This week, Kavanaugh may have surprised many of the partisan pundits on both sides who believed he wouldn't recuse himself from anything, when he recused himself from three cases pending before the High Court. Notably though, there was nothing partisan about it. All three cases are out of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and had decisions which Kavanaugh participated in while on the appellate bench.

SCOTUS Recusal

While rare, it is not unheard of for new SCOTUS justices to run into this issue of having a prior case they adjudicated or opined upon reach the High Court, and it is a routine ground for recusal. Unfortunately for the parties, it means that despite the confirmation of ninth justice, the Court could still deadlock in these matters.

The three cases Kavanaugh will get a pass on dealing with are:

  • Azar v. Allina Heath
  • Jam v. IFC
  • Lorenzo v. SEC

Notably, Lorenzo and Jam are two of the more closely watched cases. Jam asks an important question about whether the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act applies to foreign corporations similarly to foreign governments. Lorenzo challenges whether the SEC can shift gears from a misstatement claim to a fraud claim.

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