In The

Supreme Court of the United States




Decided June 17, 1988

Justice O’Connor, Dissenting

Topic: Due Process*Court vote: 5–4
Note: No other Justices joined this opinion.
Citation: 486 U.S. 847 Docket: 86–957Audio: Listen to this case's oral arguments at Oyez

* As categorized by the Washington University Law Supreme Court Database

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JUSTICE O'CONNOR, dissenting.

For the reasons given by CHIEF JUSTICE REHNQUIST, ante at 486 U. S. 871 -873, I agree that "constructive knowledge" cannot be the basis for a violation of 28 U.S.C. § 455(a). The question then remains whether respondent is entitled to a new trial because there are other "extraordinary circumstances," apart from the § 455(a) violation found by the Fifth Circuit, that justify "relief from the operation of the judgment." See Fed.Rule Civ.Proc. 60(b)(6); Ackermann v. United States, 340 U. S. 193, 340 U. S. 199 (1950); Klapprott v. United States, 335 U. S. 601, 335 U. S. 613 (1949). Although the Court collects an impressive array of arguments that might support the granting of such relief, I believe the issue should be addressed in the first instance by the courts below. I would therefore remand this case with appropriate instructions.

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