Madison - St. Clair Record

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Is Jack Daugherty even capable of being impartial?

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By The Madison-St. Clair Record | Aug 4, 2015

“I do not deny that I am very biased for people with mesothelioma.”

“[T]he large businesses who profited from poisoning and killing people made a fortune which dwarfs what any lawyer makes. If these businesses were individual people, they'd have been charged with murder.”

“Big business has never wanted a 'fair shake' or a level playing field. It is the business of business to gain unfair advantage wherever possible.”

“It is not news that national politics is run by big money. Citizens United has largely given disproportionately more voice to corporate 'mega-donors' than to the average citizen. Of the two defining features of our Constitutional Democracy, the vote by citizens and juries composed of citizens, the vote is being eroded by big money. Big money wants our juries, too. Big money wants to make the rules and control how the rules are adjudicated.”

All of the above comments were made on the Alton Telegraph online discussion board, all were made by the same person, and all reflect an intense, continuing anti-business bias – which is not uncommon and would not be of real concern to anyone, except for one thing.

The person who said that is one of 46 applicants seeking appointment as an associate judge in Madison County. Circuit judges will select five candidates to fill the vacancies available, and the ones they select will frequently find themselves judging cases involving business interests.

No need to worry, though, says onetime asbestos attorney Jack Daugherty: “I am very good at divorcing my professional positions from my personal beliefs.”

As for presiding over asbestos cases, Daugherty insists, “I would never do it. I would recuse myself.”

That might be reassuring if we could take a person as partisan as Daugherty at his word. Unfortunately, we can't.

Plus, those opposed to divorce may think that Daugherty should be passed over for the associate judge position so that his professional positions and his personal beliefs can stay together.

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