What is not thought of or talked about relative to these threats and follow-up protection is the effect on a judge’s ability to think about the cases and the law. With gun toting Deputy Marshals, good people all, within arm’s reach, it’s pretty hard to think about anything other than security. The whole experience is very distracting and the public suffers in the sense that the judge can’t do his/her best in such circumstances.
We’re not going to weigh in on all the rampant speculation about what gave rise to the shooting today in Arizona involving Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona). But we did want to inform you that news outlets are now reporting that federal judge John Roll was one of the victims in the shooting in Tucson.
UPDATE: President Obama is also confirming that Chief Judge John M. Roll (D. Ariz.) was fatally shot in Tucson. Here’s a statement from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano:
“I am deeply saddened by reports that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Chief Judge John Roll and others were attacked this afternoon in Tucson, Arizona. There is no place in our society or discourse for such senseless and unconscionable acts of violence. Gabby is a steadfast representative for southern Arizona and both she and John are dedicated public servants.
“The Department of Homeland Security has offered all possible assistance to the FBI and the Pima County Sheriff’s Office, who are leading the investigation. My thoughts and prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her family and staff, and all those who were injured in this difficult time.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.
Some more details on Judge Roll, plus several UPDATES, after the jump…
Over many years, however, a persistent problem has developed in the process of filling judicial vacancies. Each political party has found it easy to turn on a dime from decrying to defending the blocking of judicial nominations, depending on their changing political fortunes. This has created acute difficulties for some judicial districts.
* Professor Paul Caron has taken the data gathered by Princeton Review and come up with new law school rankings. Which school comes out on top? (Stanford is #2.) [TaxProf Blog]
* Are business students better than law students at making clever musical parody videos? Check out “Those CBS Girls” (Columbia Business School girls), set to the tune of Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” (sic). [Dealbreaker]
* Hal Turner, the New Jersey right-wing blogger / shock jock who blogged “these judges must die,” has been sentenced. How much time did he get? [Huffington Post]
* Congratulations to the fabulous Judge Leslie Kobayashi, who was recently confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii (along with other Obama judicial nominees confirmed to various courts around the country). [angry asian man; Associated Press]
* When non-whites play golf, bad things happen. [ESPN]
* The juicy lawsuit filed by Ariel Ayanna against Dechert got lost in the bonus news shuffle around here. But here are some thoughts from Jane Genova. [Law and More]
Back in 2007, I declared Judge Vanessa D. Gilmore (S.D. Tex.) to be a judicial diva (a term I first popularized over at my original blog, Underneath Their Robes). Judge Gilmore earned this delicious distinction through such behavior as allegedly throwing objects at attorneys in open court and dumping motions in the trash for using the incorrect font.
Well, it appears that Judge Vanessa Gilmore was pleased rather than perturbed by her diva designation. As she told the Texas Lawyer, she used it in the title of her new book, You Can’t Make This Stuff Up: Tales From a Judicial Diva.
This is Judge Gilmore’s second book. Her first literary effort, A Boy Named Rocky, was “a coloring book for the children of incarcerated parents.” (They sure could use it — if any kids need to be taught to stay within the lines….)
Let’s learn more about Judge Gilmore’s latest book — and check out the delightfully ridiculous cover art….
Judge Henry E. Hudson (E.D. Va.) just struck down a key provision of President Barack Obama’s signature health care reform law — namely, the requirement that most Americans obtain health insurance. Judge Hudson held that the insurance mandate exceeds Congress’s authority under the Commerce Clause. Links to coverage are collected below; Judge Hudson’s 42-page opinion is available here (PDF, via Dahlia Lithwick).
Of course, we’re still near the beginning of a long road of litigation — which will likely end at One First Street, two (or more) years from now.
Health Care Law Ruled Unconstitutional [New York Times]
Judge Strikes Down Part of Health Care Law [ABA Journal]
Virginia Federal Judge Shoots Down Part of Health Care Law [WSJ Law Blog]
This morning the United States Senate voted to convict Judge G. Thomas Porteous of Louisiana on all four articles of impeachment he faced. These convictions will remove him from his lifetime seat on the federal bench, making him only the eighth federal judge in U.S. history to suffer this fate, and strip him of the $174,000 pension he would have otherwise enjoyed.
Article I accused Judge Porteous, 63, of bringing the federal judiciary “into scandal and disrepute,” as a result of his “corrupt financial relationship” with attorneys appearing before him (who gave him “gifts”). The vote was unanimous: 96-0. Ouch.
Apparently the senators were not persuaded by Professor Jonathan Turley’s argument that Judge Porteous (E.D. La.) wasn’t guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, but simply “something of a moocher.” Think Kato Kaelin, but in a black robe.
Judge Porteous fared a bit better on the other three articles of impeachment….
We’ve set up our liveblog of the Ninth Circuit oral arguments in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the Proposition 8 / same-sex marriage case. For a comprehensive account of what has happened in the litigation thus far, see this great FAQ by Chris Geidner, over at Poliglot.
You can watch streaming video of the arguments over at C-SPAN. And you can join our liveblog, after the jump….
I didn’t read one word. I have a life to live.