Presidential Pick Plagiarised?

Our professor and ethics expert Deborah Rhode is quoted in Adam Liptak’s front-page story in today’s New York Times, “Copying Issue Raises Hurdle For Bush Pick.”  The story includes a graphic where you can compare for yourself.

Several articles by Michael E. O’Neill, nominated by President Bush to be a judge on the Federal District Court in Washington last month, contain passages that appear to have been lifted from other scholars’ works without quotation marks or attributions.

According to the story,

Last year, a peer-reviewed legal journal, the Supreme Court Economic Review, issued a retraction of an article by Mr. O’Neill in 2004.  “Substantial portions” of the article, the editors wrote, were “appropriated without attribution” from a book review by another law professor.

Our professor is noted and quoted thusly:

Deborah L. Rhode, an authority on legal ethics at Stanford, said the retraction by the Supreme Court Economic Review was “extremely unusual” and amounted to “a textbook case of conduct that casts doubt on someone’s fitness for judicial office.”

“That’s a serious form of misconduct in an academic career,” Ms. Rhode said. “I would think it would be viewed equally seriously in a judicial career. In my judgment, that would be disqualifying.”

One thought on “Presidential Pick Plagiarised?

  1. According to several reports, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), as part of the deal to fend off right-wing opposition to his Judiciary chairmanship, was forced to hire Michael O’Neill as Senate Judiciary Committee chief counsel.

    Sen. Specter later stated that O’Neill, as his chief counsel, knew about the insertion of language in the Patriot Act extension that allowed President Bush to replace U.S. attorneys without Senate approval, and that O’Neill did not notify Specter, who opposed the language when he learned about it.

    For more see http://www.judgingtheenvironment.org/nominees/michael-o-neill.html

    [I have headed Earthjustice’s judicial nominations project since 2001.]

    -Glenn Sugameli
    Senior Legislative Counsel
    Earthjustice
    Washington, D.C.

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