Should the Rooster Guard the Henhouse: A Critical Analysis of the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act of 1980
The purpose of this Article is to critically examine the aspect of the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act of 1980 which seems to invite the most criticisms and raise the most questions of impropriety - namely, the initial receipt, review, and investigation of misconduct complaints. This article proposes that the current process of receiving, reviewing, and investigating judicial misconduct complaints should be amended. Specifically, the Act should incorporate into the current system an initial review and investigation by a magistrate judge. To this end, Part II sets out the procedures of how complaints are currently handled under the Act. Part III then discusses the constitutional limitations for designing a judicial misconduct process, and the practical criticisms and limitations of the current process. Part IV looks at recent congressional proposal for altering consideration of judicial misconduct complaints-adoption of an inspector general. Finally, Part V proposes that instead of an inspector general, Congress should consider amending the current judicial misconduct Act to require the appointment of magistrate judges to initially receive, review, and investigate misconduct complaints.
28 Miss. C. L. Rev. 381 (2009).