BurtLaw's Daily Judge is not an online newspaper and is not affiliated with or intended to be mistaken for any existing or previously-existing newspaper or journal. Rather, this is a so-called "blawg," a law-related personal non-profit pro bono publico First-Amendment protected "web log" or "blog," one with a subjective, idiosyncratic, and eccentric sociological and social-psychological slant that focuses not on the latest judicial decisions of supposed great legal importance but on a) the institution of judge in the United States and in other countries throughout the world, b) the judicial office and role, c) judicial personalities, d) the great common law tradition of judging as practiced here and throughout the world, e) judges as judges, f) judges as ordinary people with the usual mix of virtues and flaws, etc. We link to newspapers and other sources in order to alert you to ideas, articles, stories, speeches, law books, literary works and other things that have interested us and that may interest you. In linking to another site or source, we don't mean either to suggest we necessarily agree with views or ideas expressed there or to attest to the accuracy of facts set forth there. We urge you in every instance to click on the link and read the entire story or other printed source to which we link. We often use the linked piece as a springboard for expressing our opinion, typically clearly labelled "Comment."
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About Burton Hanson. Burton Hanson is a graduate of Harvard Law School, admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and Minnesota. He worked one year as Hennepin County District Court Special Term (Civil) Law Clerk, two years as law clerk for the late Justice C. Donald Peterson of the Minnesota Supreme Court, and over 26 years as Deputy Commissioner of the Minnesota Supreme Court. He was a nonpartisan candidate for Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court in the general election in November 2000 and a liberal anti-war candidate for Congress in the Republican primary in the Minnesota Third District in September 2004. He was one of the first law bloggers (blawgers). He began planning his first blog, BurtLaw's Law And Everything Else in 1999 but delayed starting it until after the 2000 general election. His campaign website, the no-longer extant VoteHans.Com, contained a personal campaign weblog, possibly the first such use of a weblog or blog. In 2004 he also used the personal blog format in his primary campaign for Congress. That site, BurtonHanson.Com, has morphed into a personal political opinion blog and also contains the archives of his 2004 campaign web pages and blog postings.
Justice loses retention election. "Voters angry over the legislative pay raise sent a message last night, apparently rejecting one state Supreme Court justice and narrowly approving another in what five months ago was expected to be a routine retention vote. At 1:50 a.m., the Associated Press declared Justice Russell M. Nigro had become the first justice in state history to lose a retention race even as Justice Sandra Schultz Newman managed to hold onto her seat by a surprisingly thin margin.'This is a herculean populist insurrection, the likes of which I haven't seen,' said Terry Madonna, poll director at Franklin and Marshall College...." More (Philadelphia Inquirer 11.09.2005). Comment. It wasn't just the pay increase. The voters also had in mind a) the court's role in approving so-called garbage bills and b) the recent disclosures about the justices' expense account uses. Earlier entries: The 'great' Missouri Plan and embedded links, and More on those huge PA Supreme Court Justices' expense accounts.
NZ 'knight' wins seat on 'world's top court.' "New Zealand Supreme Court judge Sir Kenneth Keith has won a tough election to the International Court of Justice after a vote at the United Nations yesterday...Based in The Hague in the Netherlands, the court is the principal judicial arm of the United Nations. He will begin his nine-year term in February and the first case he will hear will be between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia and Montenegro over claims of genocide. New Zealand, Spain and the United States were competing for two vacancies on the court of 15 judges. The other seat was filled by US candidate Thomas Buergenthal, seeking a second term...." More (NZ Herald 11.09.2005). Comment. You can call him a "knight" and call it the "world's top court," but we've never heard of him and we've never heard of Thomas Buergenthal, which we would have if the "court" were the "world's top court."
Judicial economics -- 'performance contracts,' 'working hours.' "Deputy justice minister Johnny de Lange says the issue of performance contracts for judges should be debated, along with the number of hours judges should be expected to work. Answering questions in the National Council of Provinces, he said the 'very sensitive issue' was likely to be met with 'some hysterics' in the current climate...'There has to be a level at which we're expected to perform. Our duty is to provide them with the resources and all the means to do the job and then we should expect that there should be a certain result...Whatever that result is we will agree among ourselves.' The deputy minister said the average 3½ hours that high court judges spent in court on criminal matters was 'not exactly what one would want to see.'" More (Cape Times - IOL 11.09.2005). Comment. If you look in executive suites, law-firm partner offices, and judicial chambers, you'll often find couches or recliner chairs. One suspects the occupants occasionally use them for nothing more scandalous than an after-lunch nap. A well-known appellate judge, no longer with us, took such naps. He was not a slacker. Unlike some of his colleagues, he was never behind in his opinion writing. Moreover, the quality of his opinions exceeded that of most appellate judges around the country. One of his tricks was he hired law clerks on merit. And he didn't waste his waking work hours. He used them to actually read briefs, cases cited, and transcripts, to think, to write his own opinions, etc. According to Felix Frankfurter, Justice Holmes "never made a fetish of long hours...indeed, he believed that what he called work -- really creative labor -- could not be pursued for more than four hours a day. But he worked with almost feverish intensity." Felix Frankfurter, Of Law and Men 164-65 (1956). Unlike so many of our appellate judges across the country, he was both prolific and prompt. And brief. And memorable. For furthur ruminations, see "The Billable Nap" at BurtLaw's Law and Everything Else - Law & Economics.
Gonzales plays to the provincials at U. Chi. L. S. "Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is traveling to Chicago to take a pointed stand Wednesday against the practice by some Supreme Court justices of citing international law and norms in their opinions...'Reliance on foreign law...threatens to unmoor the court from the proper source of its authority for judicial review and place in jeopardy the reverence Americans have for the laws and the institution of the Supreme Court,' Gonzales says in a prepared text the Justice Department provided the Chicago Tribune. He is scheduled to deliver the speech at the University of Chicago Law School Wednesday. 'That would be a tragedy -- and not just for our legacy of free and popular government by law,' Gonzales said of the justices' use of foreign citations. 'Another casualty may well be the legitimacy of the court itself and the public's willingness to accept its judgments.'" More (San Jose Mercury-News 11.09.2005). Background story (Boston Globe 03.20.2005). Comments. a) I see the whole to-do by Gonzales and the other critics, including Justice Scalia, as saying more about them than about Justice Breyer & others who have cited foreign decisions for illustrative purposes. What it says is that the critics are a bunch of rubes in the sorry tradition of self-satisfied American provincialism. Annals of American provincialism - judicial variety. b) One of those who has been trying to make capital out of the mere reference to foreign decisions is Rep. Tom DeLay, who in April "singled out Justice Anthony Kennedy's work as 'incredibly outrageous' and 'activist,' citing his majority opinion in [a] death penalty case in particular because the Reagan appointee use[d] international law and [because he] 'does his own research on the Internet.'" More (CBS News 04.21.2005). DeLay, who has himself come under fire over his love of the foreign -- as in traveling to foreign capitals on other people's dimes -- is under felony indictment in Texas on state campaign finance law violations and in that regard has gotten considerable press lately shopping for a presiding judge who has not made campaign contributions to the opposition. If it turns out they can't find an impartial state judge, we think it would be appropriate that one from outside the jurisdiction -- some judge from far outside the jurisdiction who has no opinion of Mr. DeLay, perhaps some judge from France -- be appointed. And, if it turns out that Mr. DeLay is convicted and appeals to the Supreme Court, we would find it ironic if Justice Kennedy were to recuse and if that recusal were to have the effect of costing Mr. DeLay a favorable decision.
Thefts from judges' chambers. "Thieves gained easy access to judges' chambers at Pretoria High Court at the weekend, stealing a laptop, glasses and one judge's stash of sweets, the Citizen newspaper reported on Tuesday...Theft at the courts ha[s] increased to such an extent over the past few years that courts [are] now locked during tea and lunch breaks, the newspaper reported." More (News24.Com 11.08.2005). Comment. And people in my hometown probably are more likely to lock their doors than they were when I was a kid in the 1950s -- then few people did and burglaries were extremely rare. In 1970, when I commenced working as an aide at the MN Supreme Court, then housed in the capitol in St. Paul, security was light. Now the court is housed in a fortress-like building. As Thomas Wolfe said, "You can't go home again," can't go home to the innocence of your youth or your early days, can't go home to small-town ways.
Judge's indecent exposure trial postponed. "Former Creek County District Judge Donald Thompson's trial on allegations he exposed himself during court proceedings was canceled Tuesday after his lawyers argued he deserved a preliminary hearing because of changes in the charges. Thompson's trial on three counts of indecent exposure had been expected to begin next Monday in Bristow. But in a filing last week, prosecutors changed the dates on which Thompson was alleged to have exposed himself to an employee while masturbating with a penis pump...broaden[ing] the possible dates of indecent exposure from three to 49...." More (Washington Post 11.08.2005). Comment. If you have the urge, we invite you to read one of our earlier postings on this hard case, including our modest suggestion as to how the judge could have protected himself against these allegations: Jurors will see sex toys in trial of ex-judge.
Some storm-damaged courts in South FLA are reopening. "The twisted metal beams and jagged shards of glass have long been cast from the streets that lead to the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale. But the intangible mess wrought from a storm that virtually suspended the county's legal universe for two long weeks still lingers. While the court building on Southeast Sixth Street is set to reopen this morning, for scores of crime victims, defendants, lawyers and clerical workers, normalcy is still weeks away...." More (Miami Herald 11.07.2005).
Is it okay to be both Senator and Judge? "In a case that could help determine whether citizen-soldiers have a place in Congress, a federal court on Tuesday will weigh whether a U.S. senator who helps make Pentagon policy and has spoken out on issues such as Iraqi prisoner abuse can also serve as a military judge. The case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces here involves Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., an Air Force Reserve colonel appointed two years ago to the lower Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals...." More (USA Today 11.07.2005). Comment. Hypothetically speaking, sort of like a part-time state legislator serving as a "law clerk" to a state court of appeals judge?
Reforming magistrates courts in the home of the Magna Carta. Sometime today (11.07.2005) the Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, is releasing a White Paper outlining proposals for reforming magistrates courts. It appears from reading a brief news item from Reuters that magistrates are part-time and unpaid, which is why the White Paper "proposes ways of making it easier for magistrates to get time off from their employers, who will have to give their reasons if they refuse permission." Apparently the government is finding it difficult to attract magistrates because "the government is conducting regional campaigns to encourage young and employed people to become magistrates." In addition to improving the courts by hiring "young people," the government proposes that "[u]ncontested [minor] cases could be punished by a fine sent by post, while defendants who fail to turn up to magistrates courts may be fined in their absence."
French PM promises 'special courts' & 'swift justice to' rioters. "Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said overnight that the French government would apply swift justice to the hundreds of youths rounded up after more than a week of rioting around Paris and in other regions. After an emergency meeting on the crisis, de Villepin said the government will 'accelerate judicial procedures' to make sure that those arrested can immediately be brought before special courts...." More (News.Com.AU 11.07.2005). Colin Randall has a riveting opinion piece in today's UK Telegraph titled France divided as the flames creep ever closer to central Paris; it starts:
After nine nights of rioting on the drab sink estates of suburban Paris, the spread of trouble to the fringes of the elegant city centre was perhaps the development France most dreaded. It would be false to suggest that the French have not been shocked by the daily images of burning cars and stone-throwing mobs. But while the violence was confined to ghettos that most of them would never dream of visiting, the comfortable Parisian elite could share with la France profonde a sense of eyebrow-raised detachment.
Do "judges and mothers alike feel pension pinch"? That's what the headline to a story online at FinancialDirector.Co.UK (taken in turn from the UK's Accountancy Age 11.07.2005) says, but the text, quoted here in part, suggests they don't feel the pinch in quite the same way:
Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor, could be sued by a working group of senior judges over changes to their pension rights. New tax rules will impose a lifetime cap of £1.5m on the sum of accumulated pension savings that qualify for tax relief. Anything above that sum will be subject to a tax of 25%, in addition to income tax. At the other end of the scale, it has been reported that more than two million mothers and carers are not building up any entitlement to the basic state pension.
Comment. The headline's inadvertent equating of the pension pinch felt by judges, with large pensions, and that felt by many mothers, with none, calls to mind two quotes: a) Anatole France's referring to "The majestic egalitarianism of the law, which forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread," and b) the oft-quoted apparently-apochryphal statement by Marie Antoinette, the Queen of France in 1789, who, when told that her subjects didn't have bread to eat and were starving, reportedly (but not actually) said, "Let them eat cake." For the way in which we managed to use both quotes in an essay, see, BurtLaw on Judicial Independence and Accountability, which we wrote in 2000.
Minnesota courthouse legends. "Nov. 6, 1860, the day Abraham Lincoln was elected president, was also the day a horse race determined the county seat of Freeborn County, according to local lore and the Minnesota Historical Society. Albert Lea, a poor farming town, and the more prosperous Itasca were competing to be headquarters of the southern Minnesota county two years into statehood. Town leaders in Itasca came up with a cynical scheme founded on human greed, figuring...." More (Minneapolis Star-Tribune 11.07.2005). See, also, Did horse race decide county seat? (Freeborn County Historical Museum). Comment. Horse racing was common in small Minnesota towns during the second half of the 19th Century. Here's a story from the Benson Times for 10.10.1893:
In the farmer's trot [race at the Swift County Fair], Hans R. Hanson entered his bay mare, Little Six, and John Benoit [entered] Marshal Ney, Jr., the race going to Little Six in three straight heats, times, 4 m., 3:48 and 3:28. Hans drove his own mare and Henry Johnson drove Marshal Ney....
The free-for-all was won by Ferol, who had it all his own way, the race being a procession most of the time, the positions of none of the horses changing from the start, being as follows:
General Grant, Jr. 2 2 2
Little Six 3 3 3
Ferol 1 1 1
Minnesota Belle 4 4
O. T. Jorgenson owned and drove Gen. Grant; H. R. Hanson, Little Six; W. E. Atherton, Ferol; and Ole Bergman, Minnesota Belle for H. W. Stone. Time: 3:12, 3:085 and 3:05."
Hans R. Hanson was my dad's paternal grandfather. He's on the list of My political heroes that is now a part of the archives of my antiwar campaign for Congress in the GOP primary in MN's Third District in 2004.
With Samuel Alito on board, majority on Court will be Roman Catholic. A somewhat meandering opinion piece by Gerald F. Uelmen, a professor at Santa Clara University School of Law. The other Catholics are: Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, and Clarence Thomas. More (Mercury-News 11.06.2005).
Did you know about 'vaccine courts'? "Now all vaccines include a federal excise tax of $0.75. The money from the tax goes into a pool designed to compensate children hurt by vaccines quickly, generously and fairly. If a parent feels that their child suffered harm from a vaccine, they would submit their claim to vaccine court. Vaccine court -- which consists of scientists, epidemiologists, and clinicians with a wealth of knowledge about vaccines -- reviews all relevant studies and renders an informed opinion. And the best part is that those affiliated with vaccine court don't begin their explanations with statements like 'I don't know anything about vaccines, but'..." From an opinion piece by Dr. Paul Offit, M.D., who is described as "Chief of Infectious Diseases at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the author of the book The Cutter Incident: How America's First Polio Vaccine Led to the Growing Vaccine Crisis." More (Long Beach Press-Telegram 11.06.2005). Comment. Hmmm, doctors as judges of vaccination injury claims.
Protesters picket ad judge's house. "A half-dozen protesters picketed the southwest Houston home of a Social Security administrative judge Saturday morning to draw attention to what they say is his high rejection rate of disability benefits applications. 'Heartless Judge Richard Abrams Denied Me My S.S. Benefits,' read the sign carried by Paula Hicks, a one-time bookkeeper who says seizures keep her from holding a job...The protest [was] organized by Pipefitters Local Union 211...The judges are hired by the Social Security Administration for life. A 2002 Houston Chronicle examination of 34,402 cases found wide differences among 17 area judges in the rates by which they approve disability benefits...." The average approval rate was 60% but one approved 80%. "Houston attorney Paul Burkholder estimates that Abrams denies benefits in 94 percent of cases." More (Houston Chronicle 11.06.2005). Comment. The differences certainly are shocking and Pipefitters and others are free to register their protests, but I don't think people ought to be allowed to picket anyone's home. A public official ought to be entitled to find sanctuary in his home.
Latest on PA justices' battle for retention. "In one of the oddest and most passionate Supreme Court races in Pennsylvania history, a low-budget campaign to repeal pay raises for state officials has grown into a powerful movement to oust two members of the state's highest court. Fueled by anti-incumbent ire, the campaign has forced sitting Supreme Court justices to campaign with stump speeches and television commercials for the first time in memory. No appellate justice has ever lost a bid for re-election in Pennsylvania, court officials said...." More (N.Y. Times 11.06.2005). Comment. At this point, it's not just the pay raises, which the NYT piece focuses on, but also the revelations about the justices' expense account spending that are fueling public protest. See, Governor says he'll sign repeal of pay raise if judges can keep their raises, The 'great' Missouri Plan and embedded links.
Lawyer jousts with judge and wins with jury. "Chutzpah is a virtue in Atlantic City, not a vice. Lucky thing for Diane Sullivan. Sullivan, the lead member of Merck's defense team in New Jersey's first Vioxx trial...jousted repeatedly with the judge...as ruling after ruling went against the pharmaceutical company. Superior Court Judge Carol Higbee reprimanded Sullivan for mentioning off-limit topics in her opening statement, and called the attorney's integrity into question for a similar gaffe in her closing arguments. Yet, for the only audience that mattered -- the nine-member jury -- Sullivan scored a knockout...." One juror said he liked her because she "made eye contact with us and acknowledged us." More (Newark Star-Ledger 11.06.2005). Comment. One never knows what will affect jurors' thinking. It might be that the plaintiff's attorney's suit coat was missing a button or that his suit looked cheap.
Judicial retirement opportunities? How about becoming a horse judge? NDSU is holding a seminar. "Topics will include coaching a horse judging team, building the team, judging criteria, secrets to success and setting up a judging book, how to gain the respect of horse exhibitors and show management, horse show judges’ responsibilities, factors involved in making a decision, judging mechanics, scoring systems, and halter and performance criteria...." More (In-Forum 11.06.2005). Comment. No word on whether continuing education credits will be given.
Running for small-town judge in MT - sparks fly. "The election race for Whitefish [MT] City Judge, a position unchallenged for two decades, has been a study in small-town politics. Flathead Justice Court Clerk Valarie Eve announced in May she would challenge incumbent Judge Bradley Johnson, who has held the post since 1986. It wasnt long after that the race turned contentious. Letters to the editors of local newspapers flew back and forth addressing various statements made by both camps. Johnson challenged Eve to open her personnel file at City Hall to media scrutiny after she told the press he had created a hostile work environment. She balked, but finally opened her file exclusively to the Daily Inter Lake...." More (Daily Inter Lake 11.06.2005). Comment. Worth reading.
Woman of Indian origin to head UK's judicial appointments panel. "Queen Elizabeth has appointed Baroness Usha Prashar as the first chairperson of the Commission which will consist of 14 Commissioners, including five 'lay people' and five judges. The Commission will come into being from April next year. Hailing from Punjab, the Prashar family migrated to Kenya in 1930 where Usha was born in 1948. The family later moved to the United Kingdom where she studied...." More (The Hindu 11.06.2005).
When a judge as trier of fact credits an unreliable witness. "Justice John Gomery called Chuck Guite evasive, a man without scruples and a generally unreliable witness. But in the end, he took Guite's word over that of a former cabinet minister and Jean Chretien's top aide. Guite, the bureaucrat who essentially ran the sponsorship program from 1995 to 1999, became the linchpin connecting Jean Pelletier, Chretien's one-time chief of staff, to the scandal. The Pelletier connection tainted Chretien...." More (National Post 11.05.2005). Comment. This all refers to a judge's findings in regard to a big political scandal in Canada. Some experts are quoted as saying it is generally fruitless to challenge findings like these on appeal, even in circumstances like these. Not so. For one thing, an appellate court is freer to overturn a trial judge's factual determinations than a jury's verdict. Generally, an appellate court will overturn a jury verdict only if no reasonable mind could find the facts as the jury presumably did in reaching its general verdict. However, as Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Walter Rogosheske, a mentor of mine, made clear in a couple of seminal decisions twenty or thirty years ago, review of findings by the trial judge is pursuant to the "clearly erroneous" standard, which permits broader review and allows an appellate court to reject findings it would not be as free to reject if made implicitly by a jury. Moreover, an appellate court in any event may be more likely to reverse on other grounds if the appellant has cracked the shell of the verdict by pointing to the general unreliability of the prime witness in support of the verdict.
Annals of judicial fantasy. "Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., a Philadelphia Phillies fan (short for 'fanatic')...told the world [the other day] that his ambition as a young man had been to become baseball commissioner. Why are so many Washington figures, including a long list of Supreme Court justices, so devoted to the game? Easy, said Carter G. Phillips, a Washington lawyer and an old softball teammate of Judge Alito: 'Baseball's the perfect sport for nerds.' 'It doesn't require a huge amount of athletic ability to play,' Mr. Phillips said. 'And it's got this cerebral component that appeals to people like Sam.'" More (N.Y. Times 11.05.2005). Comments. a) One of my favorite trial judges was the late Bruce Stone of the Hennepin County District Court. If I recall correctly, Judge Stone, like Judge Alito, attended one of those "fantasy baseball camps" put on by pro teams. Like Justice Blackmun, Judge Stone also used to keep his own index cards filled with daily updates of baseball statistics. Once during a softball game Judge Stone, not then a young man, seemingly collapsed running from first to second. Those who witnessed it feared he'd had a heart attack. Not so. Gamely, he got up after "slipping" and continued the game. b) I'm not prepared to concede that judges like baseball because they're "nerds." That is a slander on judges, many of whom are great athletes. Witness, e.g., two great justices I was privileged to work with at the Minnesota Supreme Court, Justice Alan Page (Pro Football Hall-of-Famer), and former Chief Justice Sandy Keith (college wrestler extraordinaire at Amherst, daring downhill skier). Then again, I'm not sure they like baseball. c) A possible alternative appeal of the game? It's slow and methodical, like justice. One can keep up with a baseball game and still do other things, even sit on the bench (getting updates from a law clerk). My grandfather, Otto Herfindahl, was a farmer who played and loved baseball, especially as played by (and as broadcast by) Dizzy Dean. When my mom was a little girl, Otto would be out in the field but would make periodic swoops near the house on his tractor to get updates on games from my mother, whom he commissioned to listen to the games on the radio for him. d) While we're on the subject of judicial fantasy, why do so many judges like to read mysteries? They do, you know. Some even write them: see, e.g., Martin Clark, The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living (2000). And why don't "they" like to read, say, romance novels?
Man convicted of plot to kill ex-wife, judge. "A Danville man was convicted Friday of plotting to kill his ex-wife and the judge who presided over his divorce last year. A jury deliberated eight hours before finding Ronnie Gay Cornett, 57, guilty of attempting to kill Kathleen Cornett and Family Court Judge Bruce Petrie. He was acquitted on a third charge of attempted murder involving his ex-wife's attorney, Eileen O'Brien of Lexington...." More (Kentucky.Com 11.05.2005).
Former judge: anti-terror bill is worst attack on civil liberties ever. "The proposed anti-terror laws have nothing to do with justice, according to former Family Court Chief Justice Alastair Nicholson. In a strong attack on the anti-terror bill, Professor Nicholson said: 'What we are discussing today is a very good example of very bad law and one of the reasons why this is so, is because these laws have no relationship with justice but rather with a perceived fear of the unknown that has been used to frighten the populace into thinking that they are necessary.' He described the legislation as 'the greatest attack upon individual liberties and freedom ever perpetrated by an Australian government.'" More (The Age 11.05.2005). Comment. We don't know the facts about the proposed law and do not comment directly on it. In general, though, we anticipate that the descendants of those who are a part of any legislative mob, in Australia, in the UK, here, or anywhere else, may well look back on their ancestors with some bit of shame. Many years ago the great Rev. Theodore Parker wrote:
Look at the facts of the world. You see a continual and progressive triumph of the right. I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; [but] I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice....
Each legislator, each judge, each governor, each church member, each employer, each holder of what Justice Frankfurter called the "most important office in a democracy," -- i.e., each citizen -- ought to think about that "arc" and whether his conduct helps it bend toward or away from justice.
Governor says he'll sign repeal of pay raise if judges can keep their raises. "[PA] Gov. Rendell said yesterday he would sign a bill to repeal pay raises for lawmakers and executive officers if one comes to his desk, as long as judges get to keep their higher paychecks...." More (Philadelphia Inquirer 11.04.2005). Comment. As any regular reader of The Daily Judge knows, there's been a big uproar in PA over legislative, executive and judicial pay raises enacted earlier this year. Those pay raises and revelations about alleged judicial expense account abuse have led to an organized effort to vote "no" in the upcoming retention elections of two PA Supreme Court Justices. See, Bus tour targets PA Supreme Court Justices and embedded links. Gov. Rendell's wish to exempt the judges from any repeal of the raises, which have already gone into effect, is based on a state constitutional provision, standard in state constitutions, against reducing the salary of judges, a provision designed to protect judges from retaliation based on unpopular decisions.
All members of supreme court recuse. "All five members of the Vermont Supreme Court will step aside next week because of a conflict of interest when the court hears a case involving Associate Justice John Dooley. The justices will be replaced by retired judges, including retired Chief Justice Albert Barney...The justices also recused themselves in 1998 when the court heard a case in which Dooley's wife was involved. Dooley has been fighting developers who want to construct houses on land next to his home in South Burlington...." More (Boston Globe 11.04.2005).
Judge and spouse both running for statewide office. "Criminal Appeals Court Judge Greg Shaw and his wife, Samantha, are trying to become the first couple in Alabama to hold statewide offices simultaneously. Greg Shaw...announced yesterday that he will seek re-election in the Republican primary on June sixth. His wife, who's called 'Sam' by most people, kicked off her Republican campaign for state auditor in September. She's also serving as campaign manager for her husband...." More (AL.Com 11.04.2005). Comment. There are numerous ethical issues raised when a judge is married to or romantically allied with another politician, robed (another judge) or unrobed (a non-judge running for judicial office or a candidate for or holder of an executive or legislative office). It would be difficult to formulate rules dealing with all the possibilities. Minnesota's Governor, Tim Pawlenty, is married to a district court judge: she did not participate in his campaign in 2002 and has been careful not to cross the ethical line in her other role as First Lady. One of the earliest and still one of the best articles on ethical issues raised by a judge's spouse's activities is by a revered Harvard Law School teacher of mine, Prof. Andrew L. Kaufman, "Judicial Ethics: The Less-Often Asked Questions," 64 Wash. L. Rev. 851, 862 (1989). See, also, "When good relations can be a potential problem" at Court Gazing II at BurtLaw's LawAndEverythingElse.Com (scroll down).
New judge breaks age, gender, race barriers. "Dallas County commissioners have appointed prosecutor Ada Brown as judge over County Criminal Court 1. Ms. Brown, 30, becomes the youngest criminal court judge at the Frank Crowley Courts Building. She is also the first woman and first African-American to be judge over County Criminal Court 1, the oldest misdemeanor court in the county...." More (Dallas Morning News 11.04.2005).
County to open 'science-savvy court.' "San Mateo County, a cradle of both high-tech and biotechnology firms, will be the first midsized county in the state to establish a separate court to handle complex business cases, San Mateo County Superior Court Presiding Judge George Miram announced Thursday. Six larger counties already have such courts through a five-year-old state pilot program. The new court will be responsible for handling the plethora of trademark-patent disputes, stockholder suits, class-action lawsuits, non-competition contract disputes and intellectual property cases already seen with regularity in the San Mateo County court system, Miram said...." More (San Francisco Examiner 11.04.2005).
Judge calls campaign cartoon racially offensive. "An Ohio Democratic Party ad mailed to Akron area voters this week offended an African-American municipal court judge, who is caricatured in a cartoon depicting local incumbents riding in a golf cart with Gov. Bob Taft. Judge Edna Boyle, who was appointed by Taft last December, called a news conference Thursday at the Sojourner Truth Building in downtown Akron to denounce the ad, saying it exaggerated her features in the manner of racist caricatures of the past...." More (Dayton Beacon Journal 11.04.2005). Comment. One could say that anytime a political cartoonist draws a caricature of a black public figure, he risks a response like this, even when the other people in the cartoon are also caricatured. Maybe to be "safe" the illustrator in this case might have superimposed head photo shots of each of the politicos/judges on the cartoon bodies. BTW, the "Judge Edna Boyle" caricatured in the cartoon is not to be confused with the immortal "Edna Boil" of SCTV fame ("Tex and Edna Boil's Prairie Warehouse and Curio Emporium"). Further reading: a) Ronald L. F. Davis, Ph. D., Popular Art and Racism: Embedding Racial Stereotypes in the American Mindset - Jim Crow and Popular Culture; b) The History of Jim Crow - Distorted Mirror Collection; c) The Political Cartoons of Black Cartoonist Clint C. Wilson, Sr. (Howard University Collection).
Ireland's first-ever female judge retires after 25 years on bench. "Ireland's first-ever female judge Ms Justice Mella Carroll is retiring today after 25 years with the High Court...." More (Ireland On Line 11.04.2005).
List of some recent books about Supreme Court. Lee Epstein & Jeffrey Segal, Advice and Consent: The Politics of Judicial Appointments (Oxford University, $23). Cass Sunstein, Radicals in Robes: Why Extreme Right-Wing Courts Are Wrong for America (Basic Books, $26). Tinsley E. Yarbrough, David Hackett Souter: Traditional Republican on the Rehnquist Court (Oxford University, $29.95). Joan Biskupic, Sandra Day O'Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most Influential Justice (Ecco, $26.95). Linda Greenhouse, Becoming Justice Blackmun: Harry Blackmun's Supreme Court Journey (Times Books, $25). For further information about these books, go to source (USA Today 11.03.2005).
Fed. judge remands suit to state, saying removal argument was 'impuissant.' "U.S. District Judge Michael J. Reagan has remanded a proposed class action suit against drug maker Pfizer to Madison County, declaring the argument behind last year’s removal of the suit 'impuissant.'" More (Madison County Record 11.03.2005). Comments. a) According to Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913), the word is an adjective from the French and means "not puissant," that is, "weak," "impotent," "feeble." "Puissant," which "impuissant" is not, should not be confused with the last name of two of the experts we frequently turn to: Armond Poussaint and Dr. F. Lavoris Pusso. b) Next time around, the good judge might impress even more by using one of the Swedish equivalents of "impuissant":
Svag (faint, feckless, feeble, flimsy, fragile, frail, gone, infirm, insubstantial, lame, light, low, mild, milk and water, off, reckling, rickety, shaky, shallow, small, subtle, tenuous, unsound, weak, weak-kneed, weakly), Maktlös (forceless, impotent, incapable, ineffectual, powerless), Kraftlös (effete, enervated, feeble, forceless, impotent, ineffectual, limp, milky, pithless, powerless, week).
Webster's Dictionary Online. c) If he wishes to rhyme it with other equally-obscure words in one of those rhyming opinions, next time he might try:
Cessant, Complaisant, Connusant, Conusant, Counterpassant, Disobeisant, Incensant, incessant, Inconversant, Jessant, Malacissant, Multiversant, Naissant, Obeisant, Passant, Persant, Practisant, Puissant, Ravissant, Recursant, Renaissant, Repassant, Suffisant, Uncessant.
Ibid. [On the subject of rhyming opinions, see, "Don't be fooled by judge's rhymes" at BurtLaw's Court Gazing IV (scroll down).] d) Or "next time" he writes an opinion maybe our soi-disant wordsmith ought to follow the advice implicit in Justice Hugo Black's statement that he tried to write his opinions so that his uncle, who was reasonably intelligent but not a lawyer (sounds like he was talking about the "reasonable man" of legal lore), could understand them. See, BurtLaw's Legal Writing. e) Finally, for those who haven't heard of Madison County, Illinois, to which Judge Reagan remanded the case, a little plain speech might help: Madison County, Illinois has been called the No. 1 Judicial Hellhole in the Country a number of times by ATRA, the American Tort Reform Association. And see, Pickets of Madison County, explaining the difference between Madison County, Iowa and Madison County, Illinois.
Ex-judge files in race to be elected governor. "Retired state appellate Judge Jan Smith Florez today filed papers with the [Arizona] Secretary of State's office to run for governor next year [as a Republican]. More (KOLD-TV 11.03.2005). Comment. Back in 1946, when gambling was still called a racket, Luther Youngdahl resigned his position as a Minnesota state supreme court justice to run successfully for governor, promising to clean illegal one-armed bandits out of country clubs, bars and other "establishments." On taking office in 1947, he did just that. (Minnesota did well without legalized gambling for many years but now one can't turn on the evening TV "news" without being reminded through the announcement of "today's lottery numbers" that the state sold its soul in legalizing gambling.) President Truman executed an adroit manuever in 1951, appointing the tremendously-popular Youngdahl, who was considered a possible opponent to Senator Hubert Humphrey in 1954, to the federal district court in Washington, D.C., where Youngdahl was, both politically and geographically, safely out of Humphrey's way.
Special prosecutor to investigate alleged theft in clerk of courts office. "Delaware County prosecutor David Yost has been appointed special prosecutor to investigate [alleged theft at the Franklin County, Ohio Municipal Clerk of Court's office]...[The clerk, Michael] Pirik is up for re-election next week...." More (NBC4i 11.03.2005). Comment. Clerks of court ought not be elected but should be appointed by and under the control of the judiciary.
One town, two 'town judges,' both censured. "Olive Town Justices Vincent Barringer and Ronald A. Wright have been censured by the state Commission on Judicial Conduct for refusing to enforce speed limits on state Route 28A and Reservoir Road, which border the New York City-owned Ashokan Reservoir...." More (Kingston Daily Freeman 11.03.2005).
Former judge pleads guilty to theft. "A former judge for the Gila River Indian Community has pled guilty to stealing from the tribe. Darlina Mercado, 43, will be sentenced in January. Prosecutors in Arizona said Mercado admitted to receiving scholarships from the tribe while claiming to be enrolled at the University of Phoenix. She stole over $36,000. Court documents said that Mercado enrolled in the same course six times, but never attended any of the classes...." More (Native American Times 11.03.2005).
Nino Scalia, book reviewer extraordinaire. "Steven Smith takes us on a lively, thought-provoking romp through the philosophy of law. Like most romps, it has no destination, but the experience is worth it...." Opening lines of Justice Antonin Scalia's review in First Things (November 2005) of Steven D. Smith, Law’s Quandary (2005, Harvard University Press, 222 pp., $45). Comment. As so many reviewers do these days, he uses the review as a platform on which to dance a jig and from which to advance his own views, in his case, as might be expected, to blab on again in an attempt to convince everyone that our federal constitution is a "dead constitution," blah-blah-blah. Scalia reminds me of one of those child prodigies who is always trying to show everyone how smart he is. If Holmes were alive he'd make mincemeat of Nino.
Alito one of six best? I read in NYT yesterday, 11.01.2005, that in the expert opinion of one of the usual commentators from the law-school-faculty/former Supreme-Court-law-clerk cabal that Sam Alito is one of the six best or six most qualified in the country for appointment to the Court and that Roberts was also on the list of six best. And, of course, President Bush announces each appointment by saying the nominee is the most qualified in the country. Didn't he say that about Harriet Miers, too? Cut the nonsense. Roberts is qualified, Alito appears to be, maybe even Harriet Miers is. But the "best"? I don't know. I've said before that one could pick a nine-person court by throwing darts at a list of my law school classmates and you wouldn't go wrong. Alito's opinions are competently done but, like those of so many appellate judges, have a certain paint-by-numbers quality, perhaps a result of attending a few lectures by some approved guru on legal writing. The real questions that ought to concern us are: a) does he have an open but not an empty mind, b) does he have the capacity to grow, c) has he ever revisited a subject on which he had strong views and found he no longer agreed with himself, d) does he think, as Scalia seems to, that the words and intent of the framers are so clear that any well-programmed robot could sit on the Court and interpret and apply the Constitution, e) what are his top 25 favorite books, f) how does he go about deciding his cases, g) can he say, under oath, that he personally has read the record in every case in which he wrote the opinion, h) has he written all of his opinions, i) how does his judicial ideology differ from that of Scalia, etc. Democrats, pin him down, under oath -- and then later when you're back in power, if you don't like his decisions or if you feel they're inconsistent with his testimony, appoint a special prosecutor who can charge him with perjury or false statement or one of the catch-all easy-to-convict charges federal prosecutors use against Martha Stewart and Scooter Libby and others when they spend years and millions of taxpayer dollars to investigate an allegation and come up with nothing. This is, after all, not really a Government by Judiciary but a Government by Prosecution. :-)
DeLay succeeds in getting judge tossed. "Lawyers for Rep. Tom DeLay are pushing for a change of venue after successfully arguing to have a judge removed from the case against the Texas Republican congressman...." More (Washington Post 11.02.2005). But will he regret getting the judge tossed? See, More on Rep. DeLay's motion for a new judge.
'Career breaks' for judges -- a misconduct preventative? "Judges could be allowed to take career breaks in the future, Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor, will say today. Judges would also be allowed to return to legal practice if they wish, in moves designed to encourage more women and members of the ethnic minorities to seek judicial appointments...The proposals would not apply to High Court judges, nor to Lord Falconer himself, he will say in a speech to be delivered to a conference on judicial diversity today...The move is regarded as controversial because of fears that judges would give preferential treatment to lawyers with whom they might shortly resume working. Lord Falconer says 'there might also be a perception of unfairness if former judges represented litigants in court.' Dismissing these fears, he says the very qualities that make someone a good judge -- integrity, independence of thought, the ability to recognise a conflict of interest -- provide the safeguards...." More (UK Telegraph 11.02.2005). Comments. a) In the U.S. there's no prohibition on judges retiring and then working as attorneys, but there occasionally is concern about the transition and the process. See, "Does ADR need reining in?" at BurtLaw's Law and Everything Else - Court Gazing V (scroll down). b) I long ago suggested that many cases of judicial burnout, typically expressed in peculiar conduct or misconduct that is wholly atypical for the judge (if you've been reading these pages and the "Court Gazing" sections of my other blawg, you know of what I speak), might be prevented if court systems allowed for three-month or six-month "judicial sabbaticals" or "timeouts" every x-number of years. c) Any other "misconduct preventatives" in the same vein as "judicial sabbaticals"? Yes, two in fact, set forth (only partly with tongue in cheek) in "On judicial swimsuits and the Rules of Judicial Conduct -- part II" at BurtLaw's Law and Swimsuits -- specifically, i) a formalized annual "Judicial Mardis Gras" or, if you will, "moral holiday," and ii) a variant on that idea, a "Judicial Safe Place" on some privately-owned judiciously-governed Caribbean island, a program that would be modeled after that adopted by St. Paul, Minnesota, in the 1920's, when it was "notorious as a safe haven for gangsters."
Bus tour targets PA Supreme Court Justices. "Political activists are hitting the highways to change the state's highest court. Gene Stilp and other leaders of grassroots groups have begun a one-week bus tour to make the case that change in government can start Tuesday with a 'no' vote on the retention of state Supreme Court Justices Russell Nigro and Sandra Schultz Newman. Stilp and other critics say the state Supreme Court allows the Legislature to play fast and loose with the Pennsylvania Constitution, including the pay raises approved in July...." More (Patriot-News 11.02.2005). Earlier: The 'great' Missouri Plan and embedded links.
'Town judge' sanctioned. "Thomas R. Glover, a justice of the Saranac Lake Village Court and the Harrietstown town court in Franklin County has been censured -- one step short of removal -- for his handling of a noise dispute between neighbors. In imposing its public sanction against Glover, the state Commission on Judicial Conduct said that it is the proper role of a judge to preside in court proceedings, not to act as a mediator, investigator, prosecutor or ombudsman and that Glover's activities in the dispute 'overstepped the boundaries of his judicial authority and compromised his impartiality.'" More (North Country Gazette 11.01.2005). Comment. It may come as a surprise to some that nonlawyers, like Glover, still are permitted to serve as "judges" in the Empire State, but it's so -- specifically, as "town judges."
Judge's chambers gets $20,000 makeover. After 24 years in family court in a county in N.E. Pennsylvania, Judge Chester Muroski recently moved to civil and criminal court -- and to new offices, across the street from his old ones. Muroski felt the offices were in an "atrocious" condition and spent $19,445 of county money on a judicial makeover -- "$6,595 to Bednarski Furniture for a chair, bookcase, credenza and desk...$3,890.58 to Fashion Floor Carpet Galleries for carpeting...Two checks to Kenneth Tamblyn for $1,150 and $2,100 for removal of wallpaper, new wallpapering and painting...." Now he's being criticized: "'Given the current state of the county budget, it is excessive,' said Commissioner Stephen Urban. 'We're facing a $14 million debt. It's ridiculous and it should not have been spent.'" Muroski is quoted as saying that "he's seen judges spend up to $60,000 to refurbish chambers...." More (The Citizens' Voice 11.02.2005). Comment. We wrote a mini-essay on this sort of thing back in 2001 at BurtLaw's Law and Judicial Economics; it's titled "Reining in those wild-spending judges," and we reprint it here:
Reining in those wild-spending judges. Everything is relative. A simple breakfast that costs $1.99 in a small town might cost ten times that in New York City. One man's penny-pinching is another man's extravagance. A county commissioner might get upset if a judge under his fiscal jurisdiction spends $3,500 for a new desk and chair for his chambers, whereas a United States Senator might think nothing of supporting the appropriation of $150 million for the construction of a new federal courthouse in the state, a courthouse in which each judge has his own bathroom and kitchenette. One of the beauties of American democracy is one never knows when the taxpayers and voters are going to get upset over this-or-that public expenditure. The unpredictability of taxpayers and voters helps, at least theoretically, to keep our elected representatives on their tippie-toes. Case in point: Earlier this year county commissioners in Hood County, Texas spent weeks trimming $2 million from the county budget because of revenue shortfalls. Nonetheless, perhaps because the county court's approved budget included money for new furniture for him, County Court-at-Law Judge Richard Hattox went shopping, eventually settling on a desk and chair that cost the county $3,500. The commissioners got wind of this and two of them made a fuss about it before the other three approved the purchase. One of the two who made the fuss said, "It just doesn’t feel right to me. I don’t see how a $1,000 chair will help do business any better." The judge, however, claims the two were "trying to undermine me politically." One of the judge's supporters said, "You get what you pay for. This equipment is of quality that will last the county for generations." [Hood County News - old link circa 11.28. 2001 expired]. As I said, everything is relative. The best, most comfortable chair I own is a mint-condition classic Goodform-brand light-weight aluminum office side chair (with arm rests and upholstered cushion and back rest) made in the 1950's by General Fireproofing Company in Ohio. If I were a judge, I'd take it with me to my chambers and use it as my primary work chair. I bought it on E-Bay for $90 (shipping included). I've been worried I spent too much, but then, you know, you get what you pay for. This chair is one that not only will last for generations to come, it has already lasted a few generations. (Entry dated 11.28.2001)
Alito's violation of ethical rule and promise 'technical'? "When Samuel A. Alito Jr. appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee 15 years ago as a nominee for the appellate bench, he promised in writing to disqualify himself from 'any cases involving the Vanguard companies,' a stock and mutual fund firm in which he had substantial personal investments. That is why several Senate aides said they were wondering yesterday why Alito agreed to participate in 2002 with two other judges in an appellate case in which he ruled in Vanguard's favor, dismissing a complaint that the company had improperly seized some private accounts and blocked the owner's widow from obtaining the funds they contained...." More (Washington Post 11.01.2005). Comment. And so the recreation of a Medieval jousting tournament begins, with everything Alito every did coming under intense scrutiny: Who was the first girl he kissed? Was it good for her? Is he really as straight an arrow as he appears to be? Did he intentionally overcharge a customer on his paper route, or was it just a plain ol' mistake? In the specific instance, the losing litigant complained and Alito himself requested the ruling be withdrawn and the case reassigned to a new panel. The White House blames the mistake on a "computer screening program" that failed to pick up the conflict. So it goes. We trust that since Judge Alito went to Yale Law School rather than S.M.U. Law School, as Harriet Miers did, no one will ridicule him for his mistake, as they did Ms. Miers for inadvertently neglecting to pay her bar dues. Stuff happens. Anyhow, we won't be linking to all the "stuff" that's uncovered. We'll leave that to other blawgers. To keep up with all the trash talk, blah-blah, etc., from wannabe poohbahs, is outside our field of interest and focus. We recommend, as Sam Alito Central, the webpage on the nomination maintained by the law library at U. Mich. Law School (click here).
More 'stuff' about Judge Palumbo. "Prince George's District Court Judge Richard A. Palumbo, temporarily removed from the bench amid controversy over a protective order ruling and two traffic incidents, is facing new questions about where he lives and how he handles domestic violence cases...." More (Washington Post 11.01.2005). Earlier: More on Judge Palumbo & the state troopers and embedded link. Comment. We've seen it before. A public figure skates under the radar for awhile, then makes a mistake, perhaps minor. Then everyone comes out of the woodwork with old rumors, old miscues, etc., and then the press investigates these and a fellow who is basically not unlike others in public life is made to seem worse. Sometimes the new portrait is not only accurate but fair, sometimes not. And yet, some public figures who are run through the mill pop up downstream and are not only alive but better for the pulverizing. As one who believes in all the great "re" words -- like "redemption" & "reunion" & "rebirth" & "recreation" & "restitution" & "rehabilitation" & "reform," etc. -- we never find delight in others' misfortunes and are always delighted when so-called "disgraced public figures" reappear, tougher and wiser and better than before. Read on....
Judge Maria Lopez to become latest TV judge. "Judge Maria Lopez,' a court show featuring the first female Hispanic judge appointed to the Massachusetts Superior Court, is set to debut in syndication next September...." More (Reuters 10.31.2005). More on Lopez. "Lopez stepped down from her Middlesex Superior Court seat in May 2003 after raising a fury over the light sentence she gave gender-bender and convicted child molester Charles 'Ebony' Horton and the tongue-lashing she administered to a prosecutor on the case. During the trial, Lopez was caught on tape angrily accusing Assistant District Attorney Leora Joseph of being a liar, saying she tried to influence Horton’s sentence by creating a 'media circus' the day of sentencing...." More (Boston Herald 11.01.2005). And see, TV viewers will be able to rule on Lopez (Boston Globe 11.01.2005):
In 2003, a hearing officer ruled that Lopez had lied under oath and abused her office, and ordered a six-month suspension and a public apology. Lopez resigned, and later made a deal with the state Commission on Judicial Conduct: She would apologize for berating a court officer without admitting she had violated the judicial code. She was working on a memoir when her name came up in a conversation between two entertainment industry stalwarts. Boston entertainment attorney George Tobia and Los Angeles agent Bill Thompson had been brainstorming for ideas for a syndicated show. Judge shows were hot, Thompson had said -- his agency packaged the Judge Judy show -- and the ideal star would be young, Latina, telegenic, and from the East Coast. Tobia said he quickly recommended Lopez, whom he had never met.
Comment. One of our favorite politicians, Sen. Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota (who is 89 &, last time I checked, still sharp), used to speak derisively of the politicians who seemed to think there were 31 different flavors of "American":
He didn't make special plays for black votes -- or farm votes, or factory votes -- because "I will speak the same to all." When [Robert F.] Kennedy boasted that his state-of-the-art campaign had assembled more than thirty advisory committees, each assigned to a specific demographic subset of the general population, McCarthy was agog. "I knew that Baskin-Robbins had thirty-one flavors of ice cream," he said. "I hadn't known there were thirty-one different types of American."
Andrew Ferguson, Preview: From Gene to Dean (Weekly Standard 01.19.2004). Many politicians and TV people still think this way (is there a difference in the way they think these days?) and have the votes and/or bucks to prove it works. If it is a legitimate way for the TV folks to think, then we think they're missing out on a great brand of (Fill-in-the-Blank)-Americans -- I speak warmly of what is perhaps America's greatest ethnic group, the Norwegian-Americans.
Judge under scrutiny takes disability retirement. "Circuit Judge Sidney A. Galton retired on disability from the Multnomah County bench Monday as the Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability apparently approached an end to its investigation of Galton's behavior in court. Clad on Halloween in a black shirt with an orange print tie, Galton, 58, threw himself a going-away party at noon in his fourth-floor courtroom to end his seven years as a judge. By 12:20 p.m., the room was packed...In July, the state Supreme Court postponed a disciplinary hearing because his doctors said Galton [who has been on leave] suffered from depression, insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder...The...complaint said that during a criminal trial, Galton demanded a deputy district attorney give him jury instructions even though the defense lawyer was not present. When the prosecutor refused, the complaint said, Galton became 'irate and verbally abusive.' He threatened to bar her from his courtroom if she did not comply...." More (The Oregonian 11.01.2005).
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Slate's list of Judge Roberts resources. Slate has created a John Roberts Roundup, a regularly-updated page of links to some of the better web postings relating to Judge Roberts. Click here.