Among federal appeals courts, the Sixth Circuit is legendary for the lack of collegiality — nay, outright dischord — among its members. In this respect, it is perhaps rivaled only by the Ninth Circuit.
And the Sixth Circuit’s fine tradition of internal strife and judicial cattiness continues. In an opinion issued today, the fairly liberal Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey — mentioned back in 2000 as a possible Al Gore Supreme Court pick — delivered this bench-slap to her staunchly conservative colleague, Chief Judge Danny J. Boggs:
I write separately in order to express my dismay at Judge Boggs’s unjustified attack directly on both the capital defense bar and indirectly on the members of this court. For the chief judge of a federal appellate court to state that it is “virtually inevitable” that “any mildly-sentient defense attorney” would consider playing the equivalent of Russian roulette with the life of a client is truly disturbing. Such a comment is an affront to the dedication of the women and men who struggle tirelessly to uphold their ethical duty to investigate fully and present professionally all viable defenses available to their clients. It also silently accuses the judges on this court of complicity in the alleged fraud by countenancing the tactics outlined.
MEOW! Somebody pass the Fancy Feast — Martha’s getting hungry…
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit — still not one happy family? [How Appealing]
Poindexter v. Mitchell [U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (pdf)]