Conspiracy theorists have some out-there questions about the death of Antonin Scalia, but the Washington Post is focused on a more practical matter: his professional ties to the owner of the luxury ranch where he was staying in Texas. Scalia wasn't being charged for his visit to the private Cibolo Creek Ranch, which is owned by businessman John B. Poindexter. "He was an invited guest, along with a friend, just like 35 others," Poindexter tells the Post. The reason for the newspaper's inquiry? Poindexter owns the manufacturing firm J.B. Poindexter & Co., and the Supreme Court declined to hear an age-discrimination case last year against one of the company's subsidiaries.
The Post story says not much is known about the relationship between Scalia and Poindexter, but Mark Berman and Jerry Markon write that the odd circumstances at least raise questions about whether Supreme Court justices are held to stringent enough disclosure standards and whether they have too much leeway in deciding whether to recuse themselves from particular cases. The issue came up previously with Scalia, when he visited a hunting camp in 2004 with Dick Cheney while Cheney's energy's task force was mired in a lawsuit. "I do not think my impartiality could reasonably be questioned," said Scalia, as recounted in New York. He also laid out his case in an unusual 21-page memo. Click for the full Washington Post story. (More Antonin Scalia stories.)