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Liteky v. United States

510 U.S. 540 (1994)

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Liteky v. United States

United States Supreme Court

510 U.S. 540 (1994)

Facts

Catholic priest Roy Bourgeois and John and Charles Liteky (defendants) were charged with vandalizing federal property during protests at Fort Benning Military Reservation. The defense moved to disqualify the district judge, who had heard Bourgeois’s trial on similar charges eight years earlier. The defense claimed the judge had shown impatience and animosity toward the protestors and their beliefs by stating that the proceeding was not a political forum, admonishing the parties to focus on the evidence and material issues, interrupting closing arguments and instructing counsel to stop introducing new facts and discuss only evidence already presented, and giving Bourgeois a purportedly excessive sentence. The judge refused to recuse. Bourgeois and the Litekys appealed. After the Eleventh Circuit affirmed, the Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Scalia, J.)

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