The Judicial Conference of the US’s Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability has joined in on the fight to keep Pauline Newman from doing her job. Bloomberg Law has coverage:
The committee on Wednesday ruled that such an examination was justified in light of evidence the judge “may suffer from a disability that prevents her from discharging the duties of office, including affidavits and her own emails illustrating interactions that suggest memory loss, confusion, lack of comprehension, paranoia, anger, hostility, severe agitation, and an inability to perform tasks that Judge Newman previously could perform with ease.”
Be the charges what they may, emphasis should be on the procedure — not treating it like an afterthought:
The decision also said Newman failed to present evidence the judges on the Federal Circuit’s Judicial Council displayed bias such that their refusal to transfer the case undermined the suspension decision. The committee additionally rejected “Judge Newman’s argument that it was permissible to condition her cooperation with the investigation on the granting of her request for transfer.”
I don’t know, conditioning cooperation with an unbiased tribunal seems pretty understandable, especially since the accusing party said she had a heart attack and had stents put in (she didn’t) and made a habit of misreading Newman’s doctor’s findings. Imagine going through all the personal effort of procuring the “evidence” for your sanity only for the panel to complain that the test results are invalid or that you didn’t get the results from the doctor the committee that already lied on your health required you to go to.
Newman’s soft impeachment will be the blueprint for an easy (read: unconstitutional) way to get rid of panel members you don’t like. The committee just added legitimacy to bypassing the process required by the Constitution. Great job, folks.
Thankfully, this decision won’t be the last one made in the saga:
“Obviously, we’re disappointed but we intend to continue to press our claims” in a lawsuit at the US District Court for the District of Columbia, said Greg Dolin of the New Civil Liberties Alliance, Newman’s lawyer and a former clerk. The judge has challenged the constitutionality of the the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act, under which she was investigated, and that lawsuit is ongoing. Dolin said Newman is prepared to take the case up to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the US Supreme Court, if necessary.
Best of luck on defending the impeachment procedure the Constitution mandates.
Suspended 96-Year-Old Judge Loses Appeal to Judicial Panel (1) [Bloomberg Law]
Chris Williams became a social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the staff, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ in the Facebook group Law School Memes for Edgy T14s. He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is a former boatbuilder who cannot swim, a published author on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at email@example.com and by tweet at @WritesForRent.