Federal Courts and Nominations

No Trumped-Up Case Of Judicial Bias: Victory In Williams v. Pennsylvania

Washington, DC – On news this morning that the U.S. Supreme court issued its ruling in Williams v. Pennsylvania, holding that under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution “there is an impermissible risk of actual bias when a judge earlier had significant, personal involvement as a prosecutor in a critical decision regarding the defendant’s case,” Constitutional Accountability Center President Elizabeth Wydra issued the following reaction:


“James Madison wrote in the Federalist Papers that, ‘[n]o man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity.’ In his majority opinion in Williams today, Justice Kennedy underscored this founding principle, saying one cannot act “as both accuser and judge in the same case.” The Court affirmed today that ‘[b]oth the appearance and reality of impartial justice are necessary to the public legitimacy of judicial pronouncements and thus to the rule of law itself.’


“In a time when the nation is dealing with trumped-up assertions of judicial bias based on race and ethnicity, this case provided a clear-cut example of what judicial bias really is, and we are gratified that the Court agreed.”






CAC “friend of the court” brief in Williams v. Pennsylvania: http://theusconstitution.org/cases/williams-v-pennsylvania-us-sup-ct 


“Ronald Castille’s role in death-row appeal violated Constitution,” Brianne Gorod, Allentown Morning Call, March 2, 2016: http://www.mcall.com/opinion/yourview/mc-supreme-court-murder-bias-castille-gorod-yv–20160302-story.html 


“Trump’s Not The Only One Attacking the Judiciary,” Elizabeth Wydra, Huffington Post, June 8, 2016: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-b-wydra/trumps-not-the-only-one-a_b_10364454.html




Constitutional Accountability Center (www.theusconstitution.org) is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history.