Gone is Gone

In the court case that has Disney suing Florida over the State’s cancelation of some Disney-created development deals, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis had moved to force the then-presiding US District (Northern District of Florida) Judge Mark Walker to recuse himself.

Walker had seemingly demonstrated his bias when he remarked in a couple of unrelated cases that the Disney-Florida situation was an example of “state retaliation.”

Walker in the end did recuse himself, but not over his apparent bias. Instead, he raised a separate ethics matter: a close relative owns 30 shares ($2,700 worth at the time) of Walt Disney Company.

The size or dollar amount of the third-degree relative’s financial interest is irrelevant. Even though I believe it is highly unlikely that these proceedings will have a substantial effect on The Walt Disney Company, I choose to err on the side of caution which, here, is also the side of judicial integrity—and disqualify myself.

Whether the reason claimed by Walker for his recusal is rationalization (the appearance of a conflict of interest is small compared to the apparent bias claim) or serious, he’s off the case. And that’s to the net good for the case and for both parties.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *