Legal Ethics

Appeals Court Denies Recusal Request for US Judge Accused of Antagonism

A federal appeals court has refused to order the recusal of U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner based on the defendant’s claims she displayed a “deep-seated favoritism and antagonism.”

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the extraordinary relief sought—removal before trial—was not warranted, the Boston Globe reports. The Boston Police Department had sought the recusal after Gertner questioned whether efforts to deport the plaintiff were related to his civil rights lawsuit.

Gertner says she told the litigants she had no reason to suspect collusion between the city and immigration authorities, and she merely was raising legitimate questions.

The appeals court’s one-paragraph order said the city can challenge the recusal ruling in an appeal after trial.

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