Does the Combination of Investigative and Adjudicative Functions Create An Unconstitutional Risk of Bias In Administrative Adjudication ?
In Withrow v. Larkin, 421 U.S. 35, 95 S. Ct. 1456, 43 L. Ed. 2d 712 (1975), the Supreme Court of the United States held:
The contention that the combination of investigative and adjudicative functions necessarily creates an unconstitutional risk of bias in administrative adjudication . . . must overcome a presumption of honesty and integrity in those serving as adjudicators; and it must convince that, under a realistic appraisal of psychological tendencies and human weakness, conferring investigative and adjudicative powers on the same individuals poses such a risk of actual bias or prejudgment that the practice must be forbidden if the guarantee of due process is to be adequately implemented. Id. at 47.
The JQC refers to Koehler v. Florida Real Estate Commission, 390 So. 2d 711 (Fla. 1980), to establish that this Court has applied the abovementioned language to bifurcated hearings in Florida.
In Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance v. Russell, 691 So. 2d 929 (Miss. 1997), the Supreme Court of Mississippi found that the state's bifurcated judicial disciplinary process presented "no more evidence of bias or the risk of bias . . . than inheres in the very fact that the Board had investigated and would now adjudicate." Id. at 946 (quoting Withrow, 421 U.S. at 54).
In Mosley v. Nevada Commission on Judicial Discpline, 117 Nev. 371, 22 P.3d 655 (Nev. 2001), the Supreme Court of Nevada held that, "although the Court's ruling concerned an administrative agency and not, as here, a court of judicial performance, we conclude that Withrow is otherwise indistinguishable and therefore dispositive." Id. at 660.