@KenChapman46: Why? They recuse themselves from any matter where a conflict may arise.
@grant: “Justice must be seen to be done.” The appearance (real or not) of a politically biased perspective diminishes trust.
@KenChapman46: With that logic a divorced judge should not hear divorce matters. They hear the evidence, weigh it and then apply the laws.
I strongly disagree with Ken’s equating of divorcees’ bias with politicians’ bias. The only bias we can assume from a divorcee is that they think divorce can be an appropriate choice. Heck, we probably can’t even assume that since they might have been divorced against their wishes. We can, however, assume that someone who spent years working, and getting paid, to promote a politically biased agenda might well carry those biases long after hanging up their official hat as a politician. One need only look at the examples of the political activities of the ‘retired’ politicians we hear about to see that continuation of bias in practice.
Regardless of whether such a person is able to “put on the hat of neutrality”, they carry such a strong image of holding a political bias that the perception of the continuation political bias will remain (even if that perception is wrong).
The separation of the government and the judiciary is very important as both a check & balance, but also for encouraging public trust in our system of government. The perception (again, whether right or not) of taking the political agenda into the judicial system compromises the public’s ability to trust the system.