A medical malpractice case in Idaho has caused a justice of that state's Supreme Court to pointedly question his colleague's impartiality in a dissent to the Court's decision in favor of the plaintiff. Justice Daniel Eismann :
Courts decide cases in one of two ways: (a) they apply the law to the facts and thereby arrive at the result or (b) they determine the desired result and then twist the law and/or the facts to justify it. The error made by the district judge was applying the law to the facts, which produced a result that the majority does not like.
A dissenting colleague who "entirely concurs" with the Eismann's legal reasoning nevertheless writes:
I am sad that Justice Eismann’s dissenting opinion lowers itself to personal attacks more suited to a school yard argument among teenagers than to a professional legal discourse that should be expected in a judicial opinion.
All of this prompts an Idaho lawyer who has just filed to run for a seat on the Supreme Court to note in an Idaho Statesman guest opinion that Justice Eismann had accused three other justices of being “untruthful” and questioned their impartiality and that the Idaho Supreme Court has sanctioned at least one attorney for far less offensive statements:
Make no mistake about it; the heat that is obvious from reading the Nield opinion smolders beneath every medical negligence case. The Topp case and Idaho’s ethical rules prevent judicial candidates from discussing their views on how special interests may have an effect on the outcome of medical negligence cases as a result of subtle political influence exercised upon the judicial appointment process.
Similarly, judicial candidates would risk sanctions under Idaho’s Code of Judicial Conduct by questioning whether the Nield dissenters’ interpretation of the law violates the Idaho and United States constitutions by applying an arbitrary and unreasonably strict standard to the admissibility of expert testimony that infringes upon the role of the jury. What constitutes the “appearance” of a “commitment” to a position is clearly in the mind of the beholder, adding vagueness to the constitutional problems with Idaho’s “announce clause.”
Meanwhile, it's interesting that the Court's opinion is a "substitute" opinion, and that the original issued the same day was "withdrawn." One can't help but wonder, what it more -- or less-- provocative?