The Unpersuasive Ethics Claim Against Judge Taylor:
The New York Times has a report on the ethics issues raised by Judicial Watch in the NSA surveillance case. It turns out that Judge Taylor, the district court judge, is a trustee and officer of a charitable group that gave $125,000 to the ACLU, the plaintiff in the case. According to the legal ethics experts consulted by the Times — Profs Lubet, Gillers, and Rhode — Judge Taylor should have disclosed her relationship, although recusal was not necessary.

  This judgment seems pretty sensible to me, but I do take objection what some will take as the broader gist of the story as reported in the Times and elsewhere. To the extent that the story raises the question of whether Judge Taylor was biased in favor of the ACLU because of some kind of financial relationship with it, that suggestion strikes me as totally bogus. I don't think Judge Taylor wrote a good opinion, but I think it's very far-fetched and rather insulting to her to suggest that her opinion was influenced by some kind of actual conflict of interest.