Will Evans of the Center for Investigative Reporting, writing for Salon.com, reviewed court and financial records and found that a judge nominated by President Bush to one of the highest courts in the nation has apparently violated federal law repeatedly while serving on the federal bench. Judge James H. Payne, a Bush-appointed chief judge in Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, New Mexico and Oklahoma, took action and issued more than 100 orders in at least 20 cases that involved companies in which he or his wife owned stock. "Federal law and the official Code of Conduct for U.S. judges explicitly prohibit judges from sitting on cases involving companies in which they own stock — no matter how small their holdings — in order to uphold the integrity of the judicial system." Some plaintiffs in Payne's cases, when told of his conflicts, assumed the judge had been swayed by his stock holdings.
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