John Roberts Doesn't Believe Money Is Worth Anything

| Mon Jun. 8, 2009 11:55 AM EDT

The Supreme Court just ruled, 5-4, that a West Virginia judge who was the beneficiary of over $3 million in campaign spending by an energy company executive probably should have recused himself from ruling on an almost-$30 million case involving that same energy company. In his dissent (PDF), Chief Justice John Roberts asserts that it is "far from clear that [the over $3 million in campaign] expenditures affected the outcome of this election." Really? I could see using the word "determined" in this context (the judge did win by 7 percentage points). But to argue that over $3 million spent on a state judicial election had zero effect on the outcome beggars belief.