The Failure to Recuse
Throughout the United States, judges associated with universities are called upon to adjudicate cases in which those universities are defendants in lawsuits.
In the following example, a former doctoral student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) filed a complaint against members of that institution over various alleged grievances. He later realized that several judges hearing his case were adjunct faculty members of that university. Responding to a motion for recusal, Andrew P. Gordon, U.S. District Judge for the Ninth Circuit of Nevada, wrote on July 11, 2019:
"There is no basis for my recusal in this case. ... While I have and will continue to engage with
UNLV Law School through service, teaching, and hiring students,2 this relationship does not
create a personal bias or an appearance of bias such that recusal is appropriate under § 455(b)(1)
or § 455(a). Similarly, the non-disclosure of these relationships does not warrant recusal. I
therefore deny Heyman’s motion for recusal."