Ah, to be a federal judge. Life tenure means never having to say you’re sorry (unlike those state judges, like the hat-hating Holly Hollenbeck).
Judge Samuel Kent (S.D. Tex.), who has lawyered up in response to being charged with sexual misconduct by a court employee, is speaking out — sort of. In an interview published earlier this week in the Houston Chronicle, he tried to win some sympathy from the public.
Judge Kent discussed his struggles with alcohol (like Justice Thomas in his recent memoir), his diabetes, and the death of his first wife from brain cancer. But he did not address the substance of the allegations made against him:
“As with every human controversy, there are absolutely two sides to this one, and I will vigorously present mine at the appropriate time,” he told the Houston Chronicle. “It has been extremely frustrating for me, my family and my staff not to be able to speak in my defense.”…
He declined to address specifics of the misconduct allegations against him, citing federal laws that make judicial investigations secret.
So according to Judge Kent, there is another side of the story. As for what exactly it is, stay tuned.
After the jump, selected comments on the story from Houston Chronicle readers.
Kent talks of personal struggles [Houston Chronicle]
U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent Hires Dick DeGuerin, Meets With FBI [Texas Lawyer]
Here are a few of the comments from Houston Chronicle readers:
“Get this Bozo Alcoholic off the bench. He’s a stench in the nostrils of Lady Justice. His “poor-me” campaign is pitiful and no one believes him. His behavior has all the earmarks of some sort of dementia. Either he’s mentally ill or so pathologically arrogant and sociopathic in his behavior that he fails to comprehend the gravity of his actions and the subsequent effect it has on those around him. If his spouse and family cannot get him the psychological help he so desperately needs, then they should at least have the compassion and common decency to tell him the truth about the contempt the public has for him.”
“How sad for Kent. Do you think he ever listened to sad stories in his courtroom, or whom this be a conflict of interest.”
“One thing I just noticed: Kent tries to play to our conservative base by complaining against trivial lawsuits, and he talks about people whining about “bruising their knee” at Wal-Mart and expecting $150,000. First, that’s just pandering and irrelevant; Kent’s current troubles have nothing to do with trivial lawsuits, but he is trying to ingratiate himself with the vast majority of readers (who agree that trivial lawsuits are bad). Second, it’s somewhat inappropriate for a federal judge–appointed for life–to have a very real and very tangible predisposition against any type of lawsuit.”
“Roughly a four page response to a seven page questionnaire. It’s nice to be able to pick and choose which questions you want to respond to at your leisure. To be fair, I would like to see which questions he declined to answer.”
“Judges should be held to a high standard; having lunch and drinks with attorneys who have business in his court, especially on days they appeared in that court, is outrageous.”
“He needs to be a doorman at Wal Mart for a while.”
“Loss of his wife was indeed a tragedy; by all accounts she was a wonderful person. But it is awful that Kent would tar her memory to justify his misdeeds. He was not the same man during the time his wife was sick – HE WAS NICER and more fair. He was the man we see now before his wife was ill and after she passed.”
“bush appointed him…so there is no law …are they kings…remove him…i never seen such a judge in any part of the world…it is a real shame for america….”
“On behalf of the Doormen of Walmart, I’d like to state that Kent does not meet our standards of personal conduct, amd we refuse to lower them to meet his standards. He is not fit to hold the ………..umbrella bags of even the worst of us. We demand a apology!”