Impartiality Questioned

impartiality.jpgThe Alaska Code of Judicial Conduct (Canon 3E) clearly says: "...a judge shall disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the judge's impartiality might reasonably be questioned...

Here are some very simple facts - 
  • In 2001, the law firm Suddock and Schleuss joined forces with Planned Parenthood and the ACLU in a lawsuit against the State of Alaska regarding Medicaid payments for abortions.
  • Fast forward 13 years and once again, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU are suing the State of Alaska over Medicaid payments for abortions.
  • Tomorrow, February 3rd at 11am in the Nesbitt Courthouse, a Judge will be presiding over a hearing in which Planned Parenthood and the ACLU will be asking the judge for a temporary restraining order (TRO) that would shut down a regulation taking effect TODAY that defines in neutral medical terms when an abortion is "medically necessary" and by default, when that procedure is elective.
  • The Judge's name? John Suddock. That's right. The same Suddock whose firm in 2001 was representing the plaintiffs in a case involving the very same issue.
johnsuddock.jpgYou don't have to even be a first year law student to smell this one out.  Judge Suddock's impartiality is not in a place to be "reasonably questioned."  It is most firmly planted in the absolutely questioned column. The only acceptable solution is for Judge Suddock to recuse himself from the Planned Parenthood vs. William Streur (Commissioner of the State of AK DHSS) case immediately.

Any failure of the judge to do so will severely damage the public's confidence in the impartiality of the court system.

Please take action now, as Judge Suddock is expected to preside over the hearing at 11:00am tomorrow, Monday, February 3rd, at the Nesbitt Courthouse downtown.  Be polite but firm. Judge Suddock has a conflict of interest and should step down from this case.  

Judge John Suddock 
907-264-0418
Christine Johnson, Administrative Director
Alaska Court System
907-264-0548
cjohnson@courts.state.ak.us

Nancy Meade, General Counsel, Alaska Court System
907-264-8264
nmeade@courts.state.ak.us

Cynthia Lee, Clerk of the Trial Court
907-264-0671
clee@courts.state.ak.us 


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  • commented 2014-02-05 22:44:39 -0900
    I like the call to action but what can we do? Is there something tangible that we can do to change this kind of behavior by the Judge and the system? If there are petitions to sign or names added to a list please let us know?