Judges Recuse Themselves in Gulf Oil Disaster

Judges are dropping like flies in the Gulf Oil disaster, recusing faster than you can say "worst environmental catastrophe of our lifetimes."

Curiously, one judge has not issued an order of recusal:

BP and other defendants in spill cases asked the multidistrict panel to put the case in Houston, home of each one’s U.S. operational headquarters. The companies asked that the case be assigned to Judge Lynn Hughes.

Hughes has lectured for an oilfield industry professional group that pays his travel expenses, according to filings obtained from the Judicial Watch website.

Mutual Funds

Hughes also owns six mutual funds that include shares in companies involved in the spill, including one fund whose largest component is Anadarko Petroleum Corp., a minority partner in the damaged well, according to the filings.

Among Hughes’s reported mutual fund holdings are Legg Mason Aggressive Growth Fund, which was almost 10 percent Anadarko at the end of March, and AIM Basic Value Fund, which included shares of Halliburton and Transocean as of the same period.

Hughes, in an e-mail, declined to discuss any aspect of the oil spill case before him or any potential conflict of interest.

The mutual fund issue doesn't really bother me.

I'm more torn over the oil industry lecturing, and would want to know more about the circumstances of how this judge got invited to speak to oil industry professionals in the first place.

Still, given the stakes, one would think it would be prudent for the integrity of the federal judiciary to find someone who is absolutely squeaky clean (unlike our precious Gulf).


  1. As a long-time opponent of Communist China, it's ironic that I now long for their system of accountability.

    If this was China, the names of the criminals in charge of this operation would be neighboring the tombstones, right next to "Flipper".

  2. Calling the shumie!!

    Gortons Fisherman

  3. Praise be to Nero's Neptune The Titanic sails at dawn And everybody's shouting "Which Side Are You On?" And Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot Fighting in the captain's tower While calypso singers laugh at them And fishermen hold flowers.

  4. No Alaskan Salmon?

  5. Big swap meet in Thonotosassa this weekend. Hitching the trailer to the station wagon.

  6. I'd swap my Captain and Tenille eight tracks but I have a date on Friday and planning on
    impressing her with my dance moves.

  7. I'm not surprised that many judges don't want to touch this one with a 10-foot pole. It's a mess. I personally don't understand how they can't have plans for this kind of stuff. It's ridiculous that it's still ongoing. Aside from the lawsuits that will happen state-wide and from victims, after OSHA and the EPA get their hands on BP, it honestly wouldn't surprise me if they're bankrupt.

  8. Constant Complainer:

    BP CEO stated yesterday that even including the current expenses of the clean up, BP intends to pay its shareholders their previously expected dividend in full and will still have $8 billion in cash on hand.

    The only way BP goes tits-up in the US is if the governemnt takes control of them (which it is already threatening to do) and winds down all U.S. BP operations to pay for the spill.

    If left alone, they will simply re-brand in the U.S. and BP will be back in business like nothing happened in no time.

  9. Fake Sarah PalinJune 2, 2010 at 7:30 PM

    Kill baby kill! Shill baby shill!


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