DOWNSIDE LEGACY AT TWO DEGREES OF PRESIDENT CLINTON
SECTION: BEHIND THE OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE ALLEGATIONS
SUBSECTION: STRANGE JUSTICE
Revised 1/8/01

 


STRANGE JUSTICE

 

Jack L Williams and Archie Schaffer III verdicts (ESPY) set aside, Webster Hubbell indictments thrown out , Arriena Huffington attempts to obtain information from the State Dept delayed to 11/16/99 - Judge James Robertson, nominated by Clinton, connections to Lloyd Cutler and Jane Sherburne. Despite convictions of Williams and Schaffer, the Judge reserved the right to throw out the entire case.

Paula Jones case thrown out - Judge Wright, a former student of Clinton, connections to David Pryor

Congressional investigation of China/Loral/Hughes, documents withheld - DOJ

Tarver/Schulhof, 160 Bush appointee files, no charges - DOJ

Rosemary O'Neill, fund raising/stationary, case closed - DOJ

Clifford Bernath deposition, motion for protective order 11th hr - DOJ

Independent Counsel for Campaign Finance, refusal to appointment - DOJ

Richard Sullivan, Campaign Finance no investigation - DOJ

Encryption Technology, investigating and policy involvement both - DOJ

Sockowitz, secret files removed, no charges and no interview - DOJ

US Attorneys, fired in first 2 weeks - Attny Gen Janet Reno + White House

Ind Counsel Smaltz request to expand investigation (cash to Clinton), refused - Attny Gen Janet Reno

Congressional requests, Freeh memo and LaBella recommendation for Ind Counsel on Campaign Finance, refused - Attny Gen Janet Reno

Larry Potts, Waco/R.R., promoted - Attny Gen Janet Reno

Jim McDougal was sentenced to serve time though gravely ill, Susan McDougal's sentence was reduced to time served for back problems, Gov Jim Guy Tucker's was reduced to probation for liver problems and Mark Cambiano, drug and DNC money charges dropped in plea bargain to bank charges, was sentenced to probation - all by Judge George Howard, Jr. - who is also the judge (LRC 94-634 3/8/96) who ruled Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Mena, Nella, Barry Seale, Dan Lasater, ADFA, drug smuggling and Bob Nash could not be mentioned in Reed vs. Young, thereby gutting Reed's case.

12/5/97 R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. about Janet Reno ".Yet what is she supposed to be investigating? By my count the Clintons' excesses in the 1996 presidential campaign involve something more than abrasions against the Pendleton Act of 1883. How about money laundering? Using "soft money" for "hard money" purposes? Influence peddling? Use of illegal foreign contributions, probably from Beijing? And the use of federal facilities for political purposes? Interestingly, when the Clintons were spreading their virus back in their Arkansas days they were accused of many of these same indelicacies. There are, however, other crimes that the Attorney General might interest herself in while reviewing the 1996 election, specifically, obstruction of proceedings before Congress, obstruction of agency or committee procedures, obstruction of current investigations, and economic espionage or failure to protect trade secrets. Yet it is obvious that Reno's Justice Department is impotent to investigate these matters. It has been utterly politicized from the day Webb Hubbell walked in and all U.S. attorneys were fired back in 1993. Since then federal law enforcement has been transformed into the kind of law enforcement practiced by the Clintons back in Arkansas. That is to say, politicized law enforcement. Some of the leading perpetrators of Reno's stonewalling at the Justice Department have been identified by the excellent William Safire. He points to Robert S. Litt, the Justice Department's Acting Webb Hubbell, also known as Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General. Litt is also a former law partner to David Kendall, President Clinton's energetic private attorney. There is also John Hogan, Jack Keeney (whose son is John Huang's lawyer), Mark Richard, and the Clintons' servitors in the department's Public Integrity section, for instance Lee Radek and Jon Ann Farrington."

7/24/98 AP "Paula Jones said Friday that letters written to her by her previous lawyers should not have been made public in her sexual harassment lawsuit against President Clinton. The letters were released last month when U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright, who dissed the lawsuit, entered them into the public record. Mrs. Jones asked Wright to vacate her order that made the letters public, saying the letters were addressed to her, dealt with legal issues and included advice in the lawsuit. ``Therefore, on their face, these are attorney-client privileged communications,'' her motion said. ``Why these letters were in the possession of the court is unknown to Mrs. Jones.'' "

Judge Thelton Henderson (re: Richard Douglas conviction) - is the judge who attempted to block the implementation of California's Prop 209 (The amendment to the California Constitution bars the state from giving preference to women and minorities in contracts, hiring and college admissions). The three- judge panel overturned a decision in November by U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson, who blocked enforcement of the law, finding that it probably violated the constitutional rights of women and minorities. After he blocked the law, Henderson, who was appointed to the federal bench by President Jimmy Carter, was accused by Proposition 209 proponents of basing his decisions on personal bias. In the opinion yesterday, the three-judge panel accused Henderson of relying on an erroneous legal premise and thwarting the will of the voters. ``A system which permits one judge to block with the stroke of a pen what 4,736,180 state residents voted to enact as law tests the integrity of our constitutional democracy,'' O'Scannlain wrote.... "

AP 8/14/98 "An Ohio congressman appealed the dismissal of his lawsuit Friday against a Democratic lawmaker charged with leaking the contents of an illegally taped phone call among senior House Republicans. House GOP Conference Chairman John Boehner's invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against Rep. James McDermott, D-Wash., was thrown out last month by a U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Hogan, who dismissed the charges as partisan politics.. Boehner sued McDermott over a Dec. 21, 1996, conference call he had on his cellular phone with Speaker Newt Gingrich and other House Republican leaders in the chaotic, final days of a two-year ethics probe against the Georgia Republican."

Landmark Legal Foundation Mark Levin 8/24/98 " One of the many women Bill Clinton has wronged has the power to take immediate action against him - United States District Court Judge Susan Webber Wright. She presided over the suit brought against Mr. Clinton by Paula Corbin Jones. Mr . Clinton now admits to having sex with Miss Lewinsky. Importantly, while he claims that oral sex performed on him did not fit the definition of sexual relations approved by Judge Wright and, therefore, his testimony was "legally accurate," Mr. Clinton makes no comparable claim that Miss Lewinsky's affidavit was truthful. Through the agency of his lawyer, Mr. Clinton knowingly used a false affidavit to secure a favorable judicial ruling. This is a contempt of court. This is true whether or not Clinton himself committed perjury. It is true whether or not the lawsuit is ultimately dismissed."

CNN Lary King Live 9/1/98 ".KING: How did they come to you? Refresh our memory, how did you come forward? Why did you come forward? FLOWERS: Well, there had been a lawsuit filed in Arkansas by a man named Larry Nichols who had listed my name in that lawsuit as someone who allegedly had been involved with Bill Clinton. KING: That was a civil suit against Clinton? FLOWERS: It was a civil suit during Bill's last gubernatorial election. When -- Bill had the suit transferred into the court of a judge he had appointed who sealed the case and denied the subpoenas. He was reelected and everything quieted down. When he decided to run for the presidency, the national media started, naturally, taking a look at this man that wanted to be president, and they found this lawsuit, and they started investigating the women listed in the lawsuit and -- in a press release that had been issued throughout the state."

LA Times 9/11/98 Allan Miller "A federal district court judge Thursday dismissed five of six charges against Democratic fundraiser Maria Hsia that accused her of using money from a Buddhist temple to make illegal contributions to the Clinton-Gore reelection drive and other Democratic campaigns..The remaining count charges Hsia, a Los Angeles immigration consultant, with conspiring with the Hsi Lai temple to make campaign contributions through conduits, including monks, nuns and Hsia herself. In a separate matter, she also faces tax fraud charges..In dismissing the charges, U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman said that prosecutors would have to prove that Hsia actually conspired with the campaign treasurer to knowingly submit the false information or knew the false information would be provided to the government.."

AP Janelle Carter 9/21/98 "A federal judge threw out the conviction of a Tyson Foods Inc. executive who had been found guilty of providing illegal gifts to former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy. U.S. District Judge James Robertson overturned Archie Schaffer III's June 26 conviction but denied the motion for acquittal or a new trial of another Tyson executive, lobbyist Jack Williams. Tried with Schaffer in Robertson's court, Williams was convicted at the same time of lying to investigators.."

9/29/98 "U.S. Representative Bob Barr (GA-7) released today information exposing an effort by the Department of Justice to obtain massive new enforcement powers in the closing days of the 105th Congress. Barr obtained the information from a confidential source within federal law enforcement. Among other things, the Department's "wish list" for new authority includes (among others): A vastly expanded definition of terrorism to include domestic crimes having no relationship to terrorism, The power to seize commercial transportation assets for federal use, The ability to commander personnel from other federal agencies without reimbursement, Expanded wiretap authority to allow "roving" wiretaps, and wiretaps without any court authority, Enlarged asset forfeiture provisions to allow the FBI to seize personal property in both criminal and civil matters, The establishment of a permanent "FBI Police Force" Loosening of Posse Comitatus restrictions to allow more military involvement in domestic law enforcement Authority to force telephone and Internet companies to divulge information on their customers."

AP 9/29/98 Pete Yost "The Justice Department is siding with convicted Whitewater figure Webster Hubbell, its former No. 3 official, arguing that Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr exceeded his authority when he charged Hubbell with tax evasion. The department made the declaration in a friend-of- the-court brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals last week. The tax evasions charges against Hubbell, his wife and two friends were dismissed by a federal judge earlier this year. Starr has asked the appeals court to reverse the decision. Starr should have obtained Attorney General Janet Reno's approval before embarking on the tax prosecution of Hubbell, his wife, their tax lawyer and their accountant, a Justice Department attorney wrote."

Government Reform and Oversight Committee 9/17/98 ".Between the beginning of the investigation and the present, over 110 individuals have either invoked their fifth amendment rights or fled the country rather than cooperate with the investigation..While the Committee understands the concerns expressed by the Attorney General and FBI Director, congressional authority to conduct oversight overrides such policy concerns, particularly in this extraordinary situation where the Attorney General has repeatedly rejected the advice of the two top officials she has put in charge of the campaign finance investigation.As indicated above, Attorney General Janet Reno was summoned to furnish materials in her custody and control pursuant to valid and duly executed subpoenas of the Committee; however, she deliberately failed to comply with the terms of the subpoenas, thereby purposefully thwarting the Committee's investigation and necessitating a finding that Attorney General Reno is in contempt of Congress.In addition, Director Freeh pointed out that the Department of Justice is investigating other persons who, in addition to covered persons under the statute, give the appearance of a conflict of interest because of the nature of their relationship with the President. He raised concerns about a possible conflict due to the obligation of the FBI and Justice Department to keep the President informed of national security information which may be related to the investigation.The Attorney General's response to the Committee's subpoena is wholly inadequate. The Committee has issued a lawful subpoena, and the Attorney General has not made a claim of privilege in response. Rather, she has simply refused to comply with the subpoena. It is difficult to conceive of a more simple case for contempt of Congress. The Attorney General has not even attempted to interpose a legally adequate response to the subpoena..The Justice Department has become so used to offering ``ongoing criminal investigation'' as a reason for withholding materials from Congress that they apparently assume that there is a legal justification for it. There is not. Contempt is an unusual proceeding but these are unusual circumstances--circumstances the Attorney General and the Justice Department have created.\15\"

Washington Post 10/2/98 Robert Suro "The Washington Post is reporting a change in direction for the Justice Department in its campaign finance probe. "Now, instead of pressuring Huang to say what he knows about White House officials in exchange for immunity from prosecution, federal prosecutors are bargaining to get his testimony against Maria Hsia, a California fund-raiser already under indictment who played a minor though controversial role in 1996, according to lawyers close to the case.."

Wall Street Journal 10/2/98 "So now amid everything else, Janet Reno's Justice Department is going into court to run interference for Webb Hubbell against Ken Starr. You've got to give these people an A for whatever word is beyond chutzpah. Here we have an Attorney General who has been digging in her heels for nearly two years over the appointment of an independent counsel in the campaign finance scandal, with three preliminary investigations of that mess currently wending their way through her Public Integrity Section. Last week, however, Justice had little trouble heaving its full weight against Independent Counsel Starr, submitting a brief against him and in support of Mr. Hubbell. What a spectacle. Here's a guy who has been convicted of bilking his partners in the Rose Law Firm (which we guess is similar to lying to your closest colleagues), who as a Justice Department official himself participated in the early firing of all the sitting U.S. attorneys and ran information out the back door to the White House, and who sits on the edge of yet more scandal and possible indictments involving hush money after his own, initial indictment. Somehow, the Clinton Department of Justice finds this fit material for a friend-of-the-court brief.."

Dan Burton to Janet Reno 10/3/98 ".I am writing with regard to a report in the Washington Post today suggesting that the Justice Department is considering granting full immunity to John Huang, a longtime friend of the President and major DNC fundraiser.. Today, however, the latest disturbing episode involving your campaign task force has come to our attention. In an article titled "Prosecutors' Approach to Huang Signals Shift in Probe," the Washington Post provides an extensive discussion of John Huang's role in the Department of Justice campaign finance task force investigation (article attached). The idea that John Huang, a central figure in the millions of dollars in illegal foreign money which flowed into the DNC, would be granted immunity at this point for a case involving a lesser figure strikes me as absurd. While I understand this report may very well be inaccurate, I would note that to proceed in such a manner would be tantamount to giving Al Capone immunity to testify against his tax preparer Regardless of the veracity of the report, the very troubling aspect of this article is the fact that a "senior Justice Department official" is cited as essentially dismissing the case against John Huang..The message sent by your "senior Justice Department official" is inexcusable. Unless you can find this person and fire him or her immediately, you have no alternative but to remove yourself and your staff from any involvement with the campaign finance investigation. It is beyond clear that you are hopelessly conflicted in this matter -- something the FBI Director and your own hand- picked prosecutor have been telling you for months.."

Washington Post 10/10/98 Roberto Suro and Bill Miller "In an opinion that could undermine major campaign finance prosecutions, a federal judge yesterday concluded that the Justice Department has seriously misinterpreted the law governing political contributions by foreign nationals. U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman ruled that citizens of other nations are only prohibited from making "hard money" contributions, funds that are used to directly support individual candidates for federal office. Most of the investigations involving foreign contributions to the 1996 Clinton-Gore reelection effort have involved "soft money," which was used by the Democratic Party for general purposes, such as issue advertising and voter- registration drives.. Yesterday's ruling comes a month after Friedman delivered a major setback to another important campaign finance case, dismissing five of six charges brought against Maria Hsia, another controversial Democratic fund-raiser. In that ruling, the judge found that prosecutors had stretched the law in a manner that "defies logic" in alleging that Hsia caused campaign and party organizations to file false statements to the FEC for donations she had helped collect. Friedman yesterday threw out three similar charges brought against Trie. The Justice Department has formally decided to appeal that ruling.."

Washington Post 10/15/98 Susan Schmidt Robert Suro George Lardner Jr. ".WhiteHouse advisers and congressional Democrats said they plan to use the subpoena power granted to the House Judiciary Committee to summon witnesses, possibly including a former Starr law partner, to explore connections with the Jones lawsuit. Such ties, they argue, raise questions about whether the independent counsel should have been allowed to investigate Clinton's actions in the Jones case. The likely line of inquiry is part of a Democratic strategy to focus attention on Starr's conduct rather than the president's as impeachment proceedings move forward. Clinton's legal team has also asked Attorney General Janet Reno to review Starr's actions in winning permission to investigate the Monica S. Lewinsky matter in January, but the Justice Department so far has not moved beyond an initial review of whether to open a formal inquiry. The Justice Department already has been poring through Starr's submissions to Congress to determine whether there is any evidence to support Kendall's allegation that Starr acted improperly in obtaining authority to investigate the Lewinsky matter. The law allows an attorney general to fire an independent counsel for cause but does not provide for lesser sanctions. As a result, Reno can open a full- scale investigation only if there is evidence of misconduct so serious that it would warrant Starr's dismissal if true.."

FoxNews 10/15/98 Freeper report "Bob Benett wrote a letter of protest back in 1994 telling the DOJ about Ken Starr's contacts with the Paula Jones lawyers."

Dallas Morning News 10/16/98 Pete Yost AP ".Discussions between Mr. Starr and the Jones team were revealed by news organizations in 1994 and brought up again in January. National Public Radio focused new attention on the contacts Wednesday, prompting Mr. Starr's office to issue a statement in response.."This office did not mislead the Department of Justice regarding relevant facts relating to its jurisdiction, or any expansion," the independent counsel's statement said. ..Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said the impeachment inquiry, the Justice Department review and congressional oversight hearings all are proper avenues for delving into Mr. Starr's conduct. "Starr deserves an investigation of his own, maybe in the context of oversight hearings next year," said Mr. Nadler, a member of the Judiciary Committee, which is investigating the possible impeachable offenses reported by Mr. Starr. "He wired Linda Tripp before he had jurisdiction; he bullied Monica Lewinsky; he may have set up perjury traps for the president." Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., urged the chairmen of the Senate Governmental Affairs and Judiciary committees to summon Mr. Starr before the panels..Other matters relating to Mr. Starr's inquiry that are under review at the Justice Department: * Whether through his contact with New York book agent Lucianne Goldberg, Starr law partner Richard Porter ended up representing anyone involved in the case who went to the special prosecutor's office. * Whether Mr. Starr's office violated department regulations that prosecutors cannot discuss an immunity deal directly with a person represented by a lawyer without talking to the lawyer. * Whether Mr. Starr exceeded his authority by having Ms. Tripp wear an FBI body wire Jan. 13 to tape a conversation with Ms. Lewinsky.

The American Spectator 11/98 Byron York ".Janet Reno and Dan Burton are locked in mortal combat over the hottest document in the campaign finance investigation. The stakes are enormous: If Reno loses, the administration loses control of a politically explosive issue. It was no secret among Charles La Bella's prosecutors that the campaign finance investigation had set off internal warfare within the Justice Department.And besides, Burton and his staff argue, the purpose of the contempt citation is not to take a peek inside an ongoing criminal investigation. Rather, they say, Congress has a legitimate right to investigate the conduct of the attorney general. Has she behaved properly in steadfastly rejecting the findings of her campaign finance prosecutors? Burton and his allies seem genuinely mystified at Reno's tortured reading of the law involving both campaign finance and the independent counsel--and they suspect, not wholly without reason, that something is terribly wrong at the Justice Department. " We're saddled with the idea that Burton is engaged in a high-level game of extortion," says one frustrated staffer. "That's not what's going on here. It has become a matter of oversight." .."

Insight Magazine 10/19/98 Timothy W. Maier "Judicial Watch has been compiling a document of Clinton-administration injustice that is proving to be nearly as juicy -- if not as salacious -- as the Kenneth Starr report. A few months ago two FBI agents paid a visit to the Washington office of Larry Klayman, the former Justice Department prosecutor who now heads Judicial Watch, a conservative legal-ethics watchdog group. They weren't after Klayman, but rather were seeking evidence he had gathered in his lawsuits against the Clinton administration concerning illegal fund-raising. But Klayman is no patsy.. "I was skeptical but polite to the agents," Klayman tells Insight. "They told me they were going to subpoena some of the corporate people who went on the trade trips." . .Recently Klayman phoned one of the FBI agents who had called on him for help and asked if the Justice Department followed through with the promised subpoenas. The former federal prosecutor says the agent told him he could not discuss it. Klayman pressed. "Can you tell me at least this," he pleaded. "Are you happy with what's happening?" The agent paused and then replied, "Let's put it this way: I am thinking of resigning. You know how politics and the justice system work."."

The Laissez Faire City Times 10/26/98 Wesley Phelan ".At the time of his death Ron Brown was under subpoena to produce documents relating to the sale of seats on trade missions to Judicial Watch for its suit against the Commerce Department. Nolanda Hill, a friend and business partner of Brown, testified under oath that Brown had shown her a collection of such documents in an ostrich skin portfolio. These documents were withheld from Judicial Watch in violation of the subpoena and a FOIA request. Just before his death Brown reportedly said of his mounting legal troubles, "I am too old to go to jail. If I go down, I'll take everyone else down with me" The suspicious circumstances surrounding the crash of Brown's plane have given rise to much speculation of foul play . Making Brown's death even more suspicious is the fact that a perfectly round .45 inch inwardly beveling hole was discovered in the top of his head as his body was being processed by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP). The story of the hole in Brown's head broke on November 24, with a report by Christopher Ruddy in the Pittsburgh Tribune- Review. Ruddy reported that Lt. Col. Steve Cogswell, a deputy medical examiner with AFIP, questioned the official finding that Brown died of multiple blunt- force trauma as a result of the airplane crash. Cogswell, who did not personally examine Brown's body, based his suspicions on x-rays and photographs of the top of Brown's head.. On December 5, 1997, AFIP imposed a gag order on Cogswell, forcing him to refer all press inquiries on the Brown case to AFIP's public affairs office. Cogswell was told he could leave his office only with the permission of Dr. Jerry Spencer, Armed Forces Medical Examiner. He was escorted to his house by military police, who seized all of his case materials on the Brown crash. If matters had remained there we could dismiss Cogswell as a rather eccentric fellow willing to jeopardize his military career by making wild accusations. But on December 9, 1997, Lt. Col. David Hause, another AFIP pathologist, came forward to corroborate Cogswell's story. Hause, one of AFIP's leading experts on gunshot wounds, was present in the room when Brown's body was being examined. A commotion erupted when Chief Petty Officer Kathleen Janoski said "Wow, look at the hole in Ron Brown's head." Hause walked over and verified that the wound penetrated the skull, exposing brain matter. According to Hause, the wound "looked like a punched- out .45-caliber entrance hole." After Hause spoke to Ruddy, the AFIP gag order was broadened to include all AFIP personnel. On January 8, the Justice Department announced it had found no reason to launch an investigation into the case.On January 13, yet another member of AFIP joined the ranks of the dissenters. Kathleen Janoski, a 22-year Navy veteran, was the head of AFIP's forensic photography unit. Janoski says she was told that missing evidence from the Brown file was purposely destroyed. Janoski originally declined to speak to the press about the matter, but finally came forward out of concern for the careers of Cogswell, Hause, and Parsons. She was stunned that the AFIP inquiry focused on the actions of the whistleblowers instead of on the botched examination of Brown's body. Janoski says a naval criminal investigator told her the original x- rays of Brown's head "showed a lead snowstorm." Janoski then located photographs she had taken of the original x-rays and gave them to Cogswell to review.."

Washington Weekly 7/20/97 ".It all started with the "D.A. Massacre" at the U.S. Justice Department. The Clinton administration in 1993 fired all U.S. Attorneys and replaced them with loyal cronies. That almost ended accountability for the Clinton administration, because indictment for crimes would have to be brought by U.S. Attorneys. An example is U.S. Attorney Eric Holder, conveniently placed at the District of Columbia-the actual crime scene for most of the misdeeds of the Clinton Administration. He has repeatedly refused prosecution of Clinton administration employees despite referrals with clear evidence of wrongdoing.. The Inspectors General of the different government agencies are the ethics and crime watchdogs. During the Clinton administration, they, as well as the respective general counsels, were replaced with loyal cronies answering no longer to the people of the United States but to the White House Counsel's office, the central intelligence office of the operation as we shall see later..Political intelligence gathered by Inspector Generals and other covert operatives of the White House Counsel's office has limited value if it cannot be turned into action. This is where political blackmail enters the picture. A truly corrupt administration can only survive if it can control public opinion, the judicial system, and the political system. Public opinion is controlled by the Clinton-friendly media. The judicial system has been taken care of as described above. That leaves the political system, which can still hold hearings and vote to impeach. The only effective way to deal with politicians is by blackmail. To blackmail a politician, you need dirt. To collect dirt, you need a private investigator or FBI agents. The White House has and uses both.. The replacement of the FBI director and the appointment of an Attorney General, both of whom are loyal cronies of the Clinton administration is an important part of the plan. Take as an example the current campaign financing scandal."

New York Times on the Web 11/6/98 David Johnston ".Charles G. La Bella, the former head of the Justice Department's Campaign Finance Task Force, has been ordered by aides to Attorney General Janet Reno not to speak at two conferences on campaign fin ance law...."I regret having spent a year doing this and not being able to speak publicly," La Bella said in a telephone interview. In letters to the sponsoring organizations, he said he had planned careful remarks on campaign finance that were limited to the law and published court decisions. But he also said he "understood" the logic of the decision.."

THE PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW (1994) Christopher Ruddy ".On the evening of June 16, 1993, assistant chef Sean Haddon was dutifully cooking dinner for the nation's first family..Haddon was preparing a dinner for 25, a relatively small gathering for the White House. "Two chefs could handle a dinner for 25 people easily," recalled Haddon, who first sensed something strange was afoot when the White House Usher's Office, which is responsible for managing the kitchen, inexplicably designated four chefs for the dinner - including one chef who was called in from the French Embassy. Just as that outside chef entered the kitchen, Haddon recalls, "All of a sudden Secret Service men were lining up in the hallway." Next, four armed and uniformed members of the service called Haddon to the side and demanded to see his White House identification, which he was asked to surrender. He was escorted from the kitchen to one of the guardhouses on the perimeter of the White House grounds..When he and Sweetland (his attorney) arrived, they were informed by agents that two White House officials "have said that you threatened the life of the president and members of the first family." Haddon and Sweetland were dumbfounded at the accusation, and Sweetland suggested to the agents it was "retaliation" for an informal complaint Haddon had filed with an Equal Employment Opportunity counselor. The counselor was to begin an investigation of Haddon's complaint the next day. .. By 11:30 p.m. the next day, the Secret Service had concluded the chef was no threat to the president or his family and he was allowed to return to his job a few days later..But some nine months later, in March 1994, Haddon was dismissed. The treatment he'd been subjected to on that June 1993 night had been largely glossed over... If the bureau had, in fact, been used for political purposes in the Haddon case, it would not have been out of character at that time. On May 12, 1993, in what was to be a major scandal, the FBI was summoned by the White House to investigate members of the White House travel office - an act for which the White House subsequently felt the need to apologize. In July 1993, a month after the Haddon incident, FBI head William Sessions was abruptly fired. A half-year later, in February 1994, Sessions charged that at the time of his firing the White House, together with the Justice Department, had been in a "power struggle" with the FBI in an effort to undo its official politically neutral role. Clearly, the chef's assertion of his employment rights were of pressing concern to officials at the highest level of the White House." Comments by Frreeper Marcellus ".This is Kitchengate, which was overshadowed at the time by Travelgate. Sean Haddon, a white chef married to a black female, filed a an EEO complaint alleging that he had been denied promotion and had been harassed because of his mixed-race marriage. The EEO matter remains in litigation and is currently on appeal within the agency. At the request of the DOJ, which represents the defendant Gary Walters, the case has been sealed. Despite not officially being a party, it is known that the White House Counsel has been allowed to participate in the EEO hearings before an Administrative Judge. No criminal charges have been brought against any "official" who made the false claims about Mr. Haddon, and, in fact, the DOJ is representing one of the alleged perpetrators (Gary Walters) in the EEO action.."

CNET 11/13/98 Sandeep Junnakar ".The top ranked Justice Department prosecutor in the Microsoft antitrust trial is on the hot seat himself, according to a report. The Federal Election Commission is investigating a charge that the Justice Department's David Boies violated campaign finance lawd. Boies is accused of allegedly asking friends in Florida to contribute $1,000 each toward the 1996 election campaign of Rep. Jane Harman (D-Florida). Many of those who contributed then allegedly were reimbursed by one of Boies's former clients and business associates, the Wall Street Journal reported.."

Reuters 11/21/98 James Vincini ".U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno appears unlikely to seek an independent counsel for campaign-related questions involving President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, Justice Department officials said. A decision not to seek an independent counsel would be a major legal and political relief for Gore as a lengthy investigation could have posed significant problems in his bid to win the presidency in the 2000 election. It also would be a boost for Clinton. He already faces independent counsel Kenneth Starr's investigation, and no president has been the target of two independent counsel investigations.."

FoxNews 11/24/98 Anne Gearan ".A federal judge today threw out about a quarter of the corruption case against former Clinton Cabinet member Mike Espy. U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina tossed out eight charges and a portion of a ninth, saying prosecutors had failed to prove wrongdoing. The jury will hear closing arguments Nov. 30 on the remaining 30 charges. Urbina rejected most charges related to the former agriculture secretary's attendance at the 1994 Super Bowl in Atlanta, along with charges that Espy illegally took a crystal bowl and a $1,200 scholarship for his girlfriend from farm companies regulated by his agency. The judge also rejected a wire-fraud count related to a 1994 trip Espy made to Texas and part of a "false statements'' charge alleging Espy lied to Agriculture Department investigators looking into reports that Espy had improper dealings with farm companies on the job. "The basic framework of the case is still very much in place,'' said William Noakes, a deputy prosecutor. Espy defense lawyer Reid Weingarten declined to comment on the judge's ruling.."

Fox News 11/24/98 ".Attorney General Janet Reno is likely to again decline to order independent counsel investigations of President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore over campaign fund raising, officials say. Reno must advise a special court Tuesday of her decision on whether an outside prosecutor is needed to determine whether Gore lied to investigators about campaign finances last year. She faces separate, similar decisions about President Clinton and his former deputy chief of staff, Harold Ickes, over the next two weeks.. As before, she has received conflicting advice. FBI Director Louis J. Freeh and bureau officials made recommendations on the three cases, but he wouldn't divulge them. Law enforcement officials said Freeh recommended a counsel, as he has twice before. Freeh has argued the sprawling controversy should be investigated as one potential plot to circumvent campaign laws and, at least to avoid an appearance of a conflict of interest, an outside counsel should be in charge. But other officials said she was getting contradictory recommendations from career department prosecutors, whose advice she has taken over Freeh's before. A year ago, she turned down independent counsels to investigate Gore's telephone fund raising and Clinton's use of White House coffees and overnight visits for contributors. Clinton, Gore and others were interviewed during the current 90-day inquiries by Justice officials...The Clinton case involves whether issue ads, which both parties use, crossed the line into advocating Clinton's election. Arguing they did, a Federal Election Commission staff audit recommends requiring Clinton's re- election campaign to repay $13.4 million in federal matching funds.."

FoxNews 11/24/98 Michael Sniffen ".Attorney General Janet Reno concluded Tuesday there is "clear and convincing evidence'' Vice President Al Gore did not lie to campaign finance investigators and she declined to order further investigation by an independent counsel. "The evidence fails to provide any reasonable basis for a conclusion that the Vice President may have lied,'' Reno advised a special court. "There are no reasonable grounds to believe that further investigation is warranted'' into an allegation that Gore lied to Justice Department investigators last year about how a Democratic media fund was financed. It was the second time in a year that Reno refused to have an outside prosecutor examine Gore over his telephone fund-raising or what he said about it. For Gore, it removed a potential obstacle to his ambition to run for president in 2000..."Once again, the Attorney General has failed to follow the law,'' said Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind. "For the past two years, the attorney general has made it clear she is committed to protecting the president.'' Burton faulted her for rejecting the advice of FBI Director Louis J. Freeh to order an independent counsel, which Freeh has been advocating for more than a year. Steve Forbes, a would-be Republican presidential candidate in 2000, said, "This raises the question of Ms. Reno's fitness to remain in office.'' Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., suggested asking a court to order Reno to turn the case over to a counsel. This inquiry into Gore began in July when his counsel turned over handwritten notes by Gore's former deputy chief of staff, David Strauss, about a Nov. 21, 1995 meeting which Gore attended. The notation "65% soft/35% hard'' called into question whether Gore knew that some of the money in a Democratic media fund for issue advertisements was coming from so-called hard money, which can be used to promote specific candidates but which cannot be raised on federal property.."

Washington Weekly 11/03/97 ". A $100 million lawsuit filed in federal court today charges the Department of Justice with collusion with the Russian Mafia. The lawsuit alleges perjury, fraud, torture, and witness tampering by named officers of the U.S. government on behalf of the Russian Mafia. The lawsuit stems from the case of Alexandre Konanykhine, a Russian banker who blew the whistle on a grand KGB scheme to smuggle hundreds of millions of dollars out of the Soviet Union at the time of its collapse. The loot is still stashed in foreign banks, some in Switzerland, and former KGB officers and Communist Party officials are protecting the secret through their new positions in the Russian Mafia and in the corrupt government of Russia. After whistleblower Konanykhine was kidnapped by the Russian Mafia, he escaped to the United States where he thought himself protected by the legal system. Words cannot describe the horror he and his wife went through when they discovered that FBI and INS agents worked on behalf of former KGB officers in the Russian Mafia to have him returned through extralegal means to Russia. Both the FBI and the INS are part of the Justice Department..Lest anyone should believe that the Konanykhine case is just one of those famous Clinton administration "bureaucratic snafus," Mr. Konanykhine points to the parallel case of Jouri Nesterov, a legal U.S. resident since 1994, who is now fighting a similar deportation to Russia. Mr. Nesterov claims that he played a small part in a secret and politically explosive scheme by the Russian military to sell sophisticated arms to China, and that most of the proceeds, including his promised fee, were pocketed by high-level officials and allied Russian Mobsters. Those people, he says, now want him back -- to silence him. And again, incredibly, the Clinton administration is helping Russian Mobsters masquerading as government officials to silence Nesterov."

The Secret Life Of Bill Clinton 1997 Ambrose Evans-Pritchard Chapter 17 ".THE TREMOR HIT on June 11, 1997, when a Little Rock jury convicted Dan Harmon on five counts of racketeering, extortion, and drug dealing. It meant nothing to the political classes in Washington, but those who understood the nexus of relationships in Arkansas saw it very differently. Harmon was one of the commissars who had enforced a politicized criminal justice system during the tenure of Governor Clinton. Now a jury of Arkansans had found him guilty of running his Seventh Judicial District prosecuting attorney's office "as a criminal enterprise for six years" and "demanding money in return for dropping charges."..Fine as far as it went, thought Duffey, but the prosecution was holding back. She knew that Dan Harmon was much worse than that. His crimes were heinous. She suspected that the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas was engaged in damage control. Experience had taught her to expect the absolute minimum from the U.S. Justice Department. But at least Harmon had now been exposed as a criminal, and that was something. At least he could not inflict any more judicial atrocities on the people of central Arkansas. That was no small victory..."

San Francisco Chronicle 11/29/98 Debra Saunders ".IN LIGHT of recent events, it is time to revise the federal criminal code. Let it jibe better with public opinion polls. Let the law set standards that happening people can live with more easily. First off, Congress should exempt certain classes of citizens from prosecution for certain crimes. Make it so no politician can be convicted of perjury, because all politicians lie. Only nonelected citizens shall be subject to federal perjury laws. CEOs are also important people who few expect to be truthful all the time. New federal guidelines could restrict prosecutors from convicting CEOs of perjury, but encourage Justice officials to sue lying CEOs in civil court in order to raise revenue for well-intended government programs. (See pending tobacco legislation: Let smokers, many of whom are poor, pay so that tobacco execs don't have to go to jail.) Politicians also should be exempted from obstruction of justice and witness-tampering laws. How are they supposed to spearhead a decent coverup with nitpicking laws in their way? In the future, it should be unlawful for prosecutors to question suspects' relatives. It's just not nice..It's time for new perjury laws that allow defendants in civil rights cases to lie during depositions, if they believe that they are being sued unfairly or if they are uncomfortable with the probing nature of plaintiffs' attorneys' questions. Also, allow criminal defendants to commit perjury before grand juries if they believe the prosecutors are politically motivated, or if they don't like the way the investigation got started. Attorney General Janet Reno should direct federal and local prosecutors never to prosecute any Friends of Bill for alleged white-collar crimes. If rich people get bilked by Clinton cronies, it's probably their own fault... One last directive from Reno to America's prosecutors: When in doubt about whether to prosecute, don't ask what justice demands, take a poll.."

Freeper Cultural Jihad reporting on www.sfgate.com 12/02/98 ".A 39-year-old Pleasanton woman pleaded not guilty this morning in an Alameda County Superior Court to felony charges of providing a place for lewd conduct. Deputy District Attorney Deborah Streicher said Carye McGrath, who has posted $20,000 in bail, allegedly hosted a party for teen-age girls -- including her own 15-year-old daughter -- on Oct. 30 in which a 29-year-old male stripper performed. Streicher said Schmitt, who is out on $100,000 bail, is charged with fondling three 15-year-olds and with letting a fourth 15-year-old perform oral sex on him. The prosecutor said the oral sex is considered a felony because he and his partner were more than 10 years apart in age. Streicher said the strip show would have been illegal even without the touching if it were intended to arouse the girls sexually. McGrath's attorney later said she thought the incident will come to nothing once the media attention ends.." Freeper Wil H observes ".Why is this a felony charge? we all know that HE didn't have sex, only SHE did. Don't they learn anything from our wonderful President?."

The New York Times 12/5/98 David Johnston ".The officials said that senior advisers to Reno, who must make a decision by Monday, have urged her not to seek the appointment of a special prosecutor. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the officials reasoned that a successful criminal prosecution on the advertisements would be unlikely because Clinton and his aides relied extensively on lawyers' advice in planning and carrying out the advertisements campaign.."

Dallas Morning News 12/5/98 Ronald Ostrow, William Rempel, Alan Miller (LA Times) ".The independent counsel investigating Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt secretly sought authority recently to look into dealings of former White House aide Harold Ickes and others, government officials said Friday. This is what led Attorney General Janet Reno to delay her decision earlier this week on whether to seek appointment of an outside prosecutor to determine whether Mr. Ickes, the former deputy chief of staff, lied in Senate testimony about a labor dispute. Until now, it was believed that Ms. Reno decided to continue her review for up to 60 more days because of new information on Mr. Ickes' actions in the lengthy strike of the Teamsters Union against Diamond Walnut Growers in Stockton, Calif. But Justice Department sources said it appeared that Ms. Reno had been leaning against asking for an outside prosecutor and toward closing the Ickes review when the letter seeking "referral of a related matter" came from Carol E. Bruce. Ms. Bruce is the independent counsel looking into allegations that Mr. Babbitt lied in Senate testimony about his department's rejection of an Indian casino license. The related matter, said to involve "a series of transactions" by Mr. Ickes and others, including government and nongovernment officials, could produce information relevant to Ms. Reno's decision on whether to seek an outside prosecutor in the Ickes matter, the sources said. The latest turn could be bad news for Mr. Ickes, who before Monday thought the Justice Department investigation of his testimony before a Senate committee was coming to an end.."

Fox News 12/5/98 Michael J. Sniffen ".Justice Department officials are strongly recommending that Attorney General Janet Reno refuse to order an independent counsel investigation of President Clinton over 1996 campaign financing, aides to Reno say.. Most Justice aides advised Reno that the evidence was clear and convincing that Clinton had no criminal intent, officials said. The FBI, however, renewed its year-old recommendation that an outside counsel take over the entire campaign funding probe from Reno's task force, which has so far charged 14 people, including prominent Democratic donors. Some Justice officials even questioned whether the party issue ads constituted a civil violation of election law, which is necessary before there can be any criminal violation, officials said..

Judge Henry Woods dismissed the original three-count indictment against Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker.

The definition of "cult" was a subject of litigation between New Alliance Party et al and FBI, Janet Reno et al in 1993 and the Waco incident was cited in the documents as an example of "government interference." The outcome of the lawsuit is unknown. An inflammatory quote that has been attributed to Janet Reno defining "cultist" cannot be authenticated.

Associated Press 12/9/98 Wendy Rudgerman ".A New Jersey law that supporters said was created to ban a specific type of late-term abortion is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced, a federal judge has decided. Judge Anne Thompson said she overturned the law because its wording was too ambiguous and it could be interpreted to ban all abortions. She said it also is unconstitutional because it does not include an exception if the mother's health is in jeopardy.."

The Washington Times Editorial 12/9/98 ".Attorney General Janet Reno, she might as well acknowledge, has unilaterally repealed the independent counsel statute. The law's hair-trigger mechanism for the appointment of an independent counsel -- specific and credible information that a covered person may have committed a crime, unless the attorney general is able to determine that no additional investigation is warranted -- has been transmogrified at the hands of this attorney general into something like the failsafe system for preventing accidental nuclear launch.."

AP 01/01/99 ".In a setback for the Justice Department's campaign fund-raising investigation, a federal judge has dismissed much of the case against a Thai businesswoman who raised substantial funds for the Democratic Party. U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman on Thursday threw out 11 counts against Pauline Kanchanalak, a key figure in the investigation of foreign money raised in the 1996 Clinton-Gore re- election campaign. The ruling left seven of the original 24 counts. Prosecutors had dropped six charges against Ms. Kanchanalak last fall after the judge raised legal concerns about those counts. Friedman's ruling Thursday followed earlier decisions that threw out much of the Justice Department's cases against two other defendants in the foreign money probe, Yah Lin ``Charlie'' Trie and Maria Hsia..Friedman threw out allegations that they filed false statements with the Federal Election Commission, ruling that prosecutors failed to show they had any significant role in the submission of statements to the FEC by the Democratic organizations. He also found that the newly dismissed counts were nearly indistinguishable from the dismissed allegations at issue in the Trie and Hsia cases. In those earlier rulings, the judge found that citizens of foreign countries are prohibited only from making donations that directly support individual candidates - contributions known as ``hard'' money.."

THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE (RIVERSIDE, CA.) 12/16/98 Mark Henry ".A federal judge has dismissed 13 felony counts against two Cabazon Indian officials accused of making illegal campaign donations to President Clinton and other Democrats. U.S. District Judge Audrey B. Collins cited ambiguous federal elections rules in dismissing most of the charges against Mark Nichols, chief executive officer of the tribe, and Greg Cervantes, special affairs director..Prosecutors alleged Nichols and Cervantes devised a scheme using tribal money to make secret contributions to Democratic candidates. They recruited casino employees to make $ 1,000 donations to campaigns of his choice, according to court documents. Nichols then reimbursed them from a casino bank account, according to court records.."

Freeper Tadams8591 reports 2/3/99 ".Philadelphia. The district attorney's office denied a private criminal complaint made by anti-Clinton protestor Don Adams against teamster local 115 head John Morris, for assault and other charges related to the October 2, 1998 Clinton Rally beating of Adams that was instigated by Morris."

Nando Media-Scripps Howard News Service 2/6/99 Jay Ambrose ".Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker who paid a $300,000 fine for ethical missteps, has been at least partially exonerated while another famous politician accused of foul conduct continues to sit high and mighty despite evidence that seems irrefutable. . The surprising thing is that it took the Internal Revenue Service three years to reach that obvious conclusion and inform the Progress and Freedom Foundation that its help in financing the course was within the law."

Yahoo News 2/3/99 Reuters ".A federal judge Wednesday dismissed more charges against Thai businesswoman Pauline Kanchanalak and her sister-in-law, dealing another setback to a U.S. Justice Department campaign finance task force. U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman, who in December dismissed 17 of the 24 charges they each faced, threw out two of the remaining counts against Kanchanalak, a key figure in the investigation of foreign money raised in the 1996 re-election campaign of President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. The judge in the 19-page ruling also dropped one count against Kanchanalak's sister-in-law, Duangnet ``Georgie'' Kronenberg. The dropped charges involved allegations that the two defendants made false statements to the Federal Election Commission. In addition, the Justice Department voluntarily dropped two other counts against each. Friedman has also thrown out much of the Justice Department's charges against two other Democratic fund-raisers, Charlie Trie and Maria Hsia.."

ABC News 2/16/99 Freeper Vortex ".Just heard on Radio that Judge Wright has delayed the decision about holding Clinton in contempt of court regarding the Jones case, but will now decide.."

Associated Press 2/16/99 Pete Yost ".U.S. District Judge James Robertson said he might conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine whether Starr's prosecutors prejudiced a fair trial for Hubbell by delaying charges for two years. Hubbell is accused in the November 1998 indictment of concealing his and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton's roles in a fraudulent Arkansas land development. Hubbell's lawyers want the case dismissed, suggesting Starr's office held back the charges until a key witness, Hubbell's father-in- law, elderly businessman Seth Ward of Little Rock, Ark., was too ill to testify. Ward and the Clintons' Whitewater partner, Jim McDougal, co-owned a 1,000 parcel of property south of Little Rock called Castle Grande. McDougal, who cooperated with Starr's office, died in prison last year and therefore cannot be cross-examined about the information he gave to prosecutors.."

AP 2/16/99 Tom Parsons ". The judge who oversaw Paula Jones' sexual harassment suit against President Clinton said Tuesday she'll consider citing the president for contempt because of his testimony about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. But U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright said she would step aside from the case if she were asked to do so by attorneys because of her contact with a House impeachment case manager. Wright raised the possibility of contempt in a footnote to her decision on Sept. 1 to release a transcript of Clinton's testimony in a deposition in the Jones case. Wright said in an order Tuesday that she had not considered the matter further because the case had been under appeal and impeachment proceedings were still pending against Clinton..."

CNN Web Site 2/17/99 Terry Frieden ".A federal judge Tuesday rejected a motion by former Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell to dismiss nearly half of the allegations in a Whitewater-related indictment brought against him by Independent Counsel Ken Starr. U.S. District Judge James Robertson refused to dismiss six counts of a 15-count indictment against President Bill Clinton's longtime friend brought by Starr's prosecutors last November.. Hubbell attorney John Nields, Jr. complained to the judge that Starr's team was hounding Hubbell. "The law does not look sympathetically at the government for prosecuting someone over and over and over again," Nields said. But Judge Robertson responded, "This case is not about sympathies.". Hubbell faces a second separate trial in a tax fraud case Starr brought against him. Those charges were thrown out by Robertson last year, but reinstated by a federal appeals court in January. That case involves allegations Hubbell received "hush money" from Clinton friends to buy his silence on possible Clinton wrongdoing. Hubbell adamantly denies the charges.."

The New York Post 2/11/99 ".A week after Attorney General Janet Reno broke the law by refusing to name an independent counsel to investigate former White House deputy chief of staff Harold Ickes' apparently blatant contravention of campaign-finance laws, she has yet again showed how ruthless the Clintonites can be in their use of the law in their own self-interest. Her decision to investigate Kenneth Starr for supposedly illicit contacts between his office and Paula Jones' legal team is outrageous. Why is she doing this? Ostensibly because a lawyer working for Starr, Paul Rosenzweig, talked to a lawyer named Jerome Marcus a few times. Jerome Marcus did legal work for Paula Jones. That's really about it. You see, when Starr asked Reno to expand his inquiry into the Monica Lewinsky matter, his people said Starr's office had had no contact with the Jones legal team. Reno is said to be ''disappointed'' that Starr did not inform her of these contacts, though any such contacts violate no known law or statute. No matter; the president's lawyers say that Starr and the Jones team were ''colluding.'' Colluding in what? Lawyers talking is not collusion. Getting somebody to lie in a deposition - that's collusion. Let's be frank. This has nothing to do with Kenneth Starr's conduct and everything to do with revenge."

New York Post 2/11/99 Brian Blomquist ".Senate Republicans last might reacted angrily to reports Attorney General Janet Reno has OK'd a plan to probe Kenneth Starr, saying it appears to be a move to fire the prosecutor. "They're blatant enough that, once this is over, they'll try firing Starr, by first smearing him," an angry Senate Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch (R- Utah) said last night. "This Justice Department, in the eyes of many, is the most partisan Justice Department this century," Hatch added. Sources say Reno has given the Office of Professional Responsibility the green light to review whether an aide to independent counsel Starr had contact with a lawyer who helped Paula Jones.. Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) said that he had "suspicions" that Reno might be moving in to fire Starr. "She's not investigating anybody else. I don't know why she's investigating him," said Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.). ."

CNN Pierre Thomas 2/11/99 ".Sen. Orrin Hatch is calling for an investigation into whether Justice Department officials leaked word to the press about a potential probe of Independent Counsel Ken Starr's office. Hatch, who has a meeting scheduled for Friday with Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder, put the Justice Department's second-ranking official on notice to be prepared to discuss Starr. "Needless to say, I am very concerned," Hatch wrote Holder. "These press accounts once again call into question the Department's integrity and support the impression many people have that this is a partisan Justice Department." ."

FoxNews 3/2/99 Pete Yost "…In a new threat to Kenneth Starr's office, a federal judge indicated today he may require the prosecutor to supply presidential friend Webster Hubbell with investigative memos and grand jury testimony that spell out the inner workings of the Whitewater investigation. U.S. District Judge James Robertson suggested he may hold a pretrial hearing into how Starr came to indict Hubbell for allegedly concealing his and Hillary Rodham Clinton's work on a fraudulent Arkansas land development called Castle Grande…."

Associated Press 3/18/99 Larry Margasak "…A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a criminal count against presidential friend Webster Hubbell in a fraud indictment that makes references to Hillary Rodham Clinton. The count accused Hubbell of scheming to conceal work done by him and Mrs. Clinton, his former law partner, on a failed Arkansas land deal. U.S. District Judge James Robertson agreed with Hubbell that the allegations in the count were too vague. "The charging language ... alleges no specific act or acts of concealment by 'trick, scheme or device' and no specific 'false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or representations,'' the judge said, citing specific language of federal law. "It is non-specific.'' Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr had obtained a 15-count indictment of Hubbell last November in connection with a land deal known as Castle Grande. Federal regulators said the deal was riddled with "insider dealing, fictitious sales and land flips.'' Robertson dismissed Hubbell's motions to throw out other counts in the case…."

FoxNews 3/18/99 David Shuster Freeper go star go "…David Shuster says Mrs Hubbell is putting pressure on Webb to make a deal with the OIC in order to avoid trial. This on Britt Hume's show this evening…."

Washington Post 3/31/99 Peter Slevin "…The Internal Revenue Service properly stripped tax breaks from a New York church that opposed candidate Bill Clinton in full-page newspaper advertisements during the 1992 campaign, a federal judge here ruled yesterday. U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman decided that the IRS acted lawfully when it took away tax-exempt status from The Church at Pierce Creek in Vestal, N.Y. He dismissed the church's claims that the IRS violated religious freedoms and engaged in selective prosecution. Churches that claim exemption from taxation cannot take sides in an election campaign, the federal tax code states. The IRS concluded after a two-year investigation that the nondenominational Christian church had done just that and no longer was entitled to the exemption. The case centered on a full-page advertisement that appeared in USA Today and the Washington Times four days before the 1992 general election. The advertisement said, "Bill Clinton is promoting policies that are in rebellion to God's laws."…"

Judicial Watch Press Release 4/02/99 "...Judge Paul Friedman, who was appointed by President Clinton to the federal bench in Washington, DC, has sustained a decision by the Clinton-run Internal Revenue Service to remove the tax exempt status of a Christian church that had placed newspaper advertisements critical of Bill Clinton's moral views and policies. At the time of Clinton's IRS decision, tens of groups critical of Clinton were subject to IRS audits. Many other IRS audits of Clinton critics followed. The ruling comes at a time when some religious groups are deciding how to participate in public policy debates during the 2000 elections, and as issues of abortion, gay rights, and morality become even more pronounced - especially given the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal's destructive impact on Judeo-Christian values. Judge Friedman is the same federal judge who presides over the Clinton/Gore-endorsed Sidney Blumenthal libel suit against Matt Drudge - calling Drudge not a journalist but "a purveyor of gossip." He also recently issued the landmark decision that foreign political "soft money" contributions (i.e., from Communist China) to the Clinton-controlled Democratic National Committee are not illegal. One implication of that astonishing ruling is that a president can solicit and accept soft money contributions from China's People's Liberation Army. Judge Friedman has also recently dismissed large portions of indictments of key figures in the Clinton-Chinagate scandal...."

 

AP 4/12/99 "...Susan McDougal was found innocent of obstructing Kenneth Starr's Whitewater investigation and the judge declared a mistrial today on the other two charges against her. U.S. District Judge George Howard Jr. declared the mistrial on two criminal contempt counts just before jurors delivered the innocent verdict in the courtroom...."

Peggy Harris, Associated Press 4/9/99 "...The judge in Susan McDougal's trial froze jury deliberations today and ordered an FBI investigation of possible attempts to influence the jurors. The chain of events began after it was discovered a juror had brought a state law book into the jury room. As he ordered the FBI inquiry, U.S. District Judge George Howard Jr. also issued a subpoena to bring in for questioning a former Arkansas Supreme Court justice whose business card was found in the book...... He ordered the FBI inquiry after a discussion of whether the former justice, John I. Purtle, had any connection to Mrs. McDougal; whether Nance had been influenced by a factor outside the trial and whether the other jurors had been tainted.... In an interview, Purtle said he sold his house to Nance in 1997 and that he probably left the law book behind. Purtle said he knows Mrs. McDougal and Clinton, and he worked with Mrs. Clinton on a legal case before she became first lady. But Nance said he has no connection to Nance now and no connection to the McDougal trial - although he feels strongly that Mrs. McDougal shouldn't have been prosecuted for criminal contempt...."

Wall Street Journal 4/9/99 David Cloud Phil Kuntz "...Even as Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji visits President Clinton here, the steam is going out of one of their biggest problems: the federal investigation into whether China hatched an elaborate plot to funnel money into the Clinton-Gore 1996 re-election effort. Justice Department and congressional investigators have uncovered significant evidence that funds from China wound up in Democratic National Committee coffers. But law-enforcement officials think the evidence more strongly suggests uncoordinated efforts by business entrepreneurs who have prominent party or government positions, rather than a Chinese government plot. Even if there were such a plot, law-enforcement officials now seem to have concluded that there is little point in charging those responsible in China, because there is little chance they would ever be turned over to U.S. custody. That leaves the matter in the hands of U.S. counterintelligence officials... Sen. Thompson is especially scornful of skepticism by law-enforcement officials about what his committee dubbed the "China Plan" to funnel money to the Clinton campaign. He concedes that there is no evidence indicating that each step of the alleged conspiracy was directed by Chinese President Ziang Zemin. But he adds, "We know how the Chinese government operates -- through various companies. Practically everything is the government over there." ....But prosecutors have run into unexpected problems in two of the major cases, those of Little Rock, Ark., businessman Yah Lin "Charlie" Trie and Los Angeles immigration consultant Maria Hsia, both Democratic fund-raisers. Federal District Judge Paul Friedman has dismissed several counts against both of them, ruling that U.S. law doesn't prohibit foreigners from contributing "soft money" -- that is, unregulated donations to help build up political parties -- as it does "hard money" used to directly influence an election. He also has thrown out charges alleging the defendants caused false statements to be made to the Federal Election Commission..... The biggest remaining mystery of the case is whether DNC fund-raiser John Huang, whose attempts to tap Asian-American donors helped to ignite the scandal, will ever be charged. In seclusion since the first days of the scandal, Mr. Huang may soon be heard from again: Judicial Watch, a conservative group with a number of civil suits pending against the Clinton administration, has subpoenaed him to appear next week to give a deposition in a related suit it has filed against the Clinton administration...."

CNN 4/9/99 "...Jury deliberations in the trial of Whitewater figure Susan McDougal will resume Monday after the judge ruled that a juror whose possession of a legal book disrupted the proceedings Friday can remain on the panel.

U.S. District Judge George Howard Jr. made his ruling after meeting with juror Michael Nance, a 47-year-old truck driver from Little Rock, for nearly an hour behind closed doors with no lawyers present. Nance brought with him a book dealing with Arkansas court proceedings into the jury room Friday morning. The judge also rescinded an earlier order for an FBI investigation of possible jury tampering. He dismissed the jury for the day and said deliberations will resume Monday at 9:30 a.m. CT (10:30 a.m. ET). ...."

USA Today 12/7/94 "...Former associate attorney general Webster Hubbell pleaded guilty Tuesday to mail fraud and tax evasion for overbilling clients - including the federal government - at least $ 394,000..... "He is one of the kindest, most honest and intelligent people I have ever known," said former Arkansas Supreme Court justice John Purtle. "This charge is 100% political by people who want to tear down the Clinton administration and don't care if they destroy a good man in the process."..."

4/10/99 Drudge Freeper Swanks "......Starr's office said that Purtle, while he was on the state Supreme Court, sided with Mrs. McDougal and her husband in a case that involved a branch office for a bank they owned in northern Arkansas. ...The prosecutors also noted that on the day Clinton's friend, Webster Hubbell, was sentenced for stealing nearly $400,000 from his law firm and its clients, Purtle, who by then had left the court, was quoted as saying ``I don't know why they've made a federal case out of this.'' ..."

Wall Street Journal 4/19/99 Jonathan Turley re: Susan Webber Wright's decision "...A federal judge was holding a president in contempt of court: an historic moment. The opinion was loaded with barbed language and findings of willful misconduct. Yet the most intriguing line may be the most innocuous: "It was during the President's televised address that the Court first learned the President may be in contempt of court." This one line could prove the most controversial part of Judge Wright's opinion and the issue upon which her own role in the crisis will be judged. It isn't the content but the date of Judge Wright's decision that is troubling. Judge Wright makes clear that the date of the opinion was no judicial snafu of poor timing or indecision. Judge Wright noted that Mr. Clinton's contempt was obvious and hardly required "extended analysis." Yet she decided to withhold judgment as the impeachment battle unfolded and finally ended with acquittal. At the very moment in history where an independent court ruling was most needed, she decided to remain silent. The reference to the president's speech gives a specific date upon which his possible contempt was apparent to the court: Aug. 17, 1998....Judge Wright explained that "the Court determined that it should defer to Congress and its constitutional duties prior to this Court addressing the President's conduct in this civil case." The purpose of this deference is unclear; the court was not assisting Congress but withholding material information from it...."

The Weekly Standard 4/26/99 David Tell "...To be sure, Judge Wright's April 12 essay is not entirely without its pleasures. "Contrary to numerous assertions," she writes, "this Court did not rule that evidence of the Lewinsky matter was irrelevant or immaterial to the issues in plaintiff's case." And, she adds-contrary to numerous other assertions vehemently advanced, throughout the controversy, by the Democratic party-Bill Clinton was unmistakably guilty as charged by the House impeachment managers. There can be "no factual dispute" and there is "simply no escaping the fact" and "the record leaves no doubt" and "the record demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence" . . . that the president defied the orders of a federal judge by responding to questions from Paula Jones's attorneys with "intentionally false" answers "designed to obstruct the judicial process." Perjury and obstruction of justice, in other words. Nice of her to say so......The president violates the law. A major federal investigation ensues. He and his aides lie to and about that investigation for eight months. He marshals the executive branch of government and his political party, the Democratic party, to sustain the lie during a spectacular impeachment proceeding in Congress. And his only punishment is a one-day scolding from a district court judge-plus a couple thousand bucks...."

U.S. Courts 5/10/1999 Judge George Howard "…Document #63 from USA v. Trie, 4:98-CR-239 Eastern District of Arkansas:: ORDER by Judge George Howard Jr. requiring Maria Mapili to give testimony or provide other information as to all matters about which she may be interrogated at trial and any proceeding ancillary thereto [60-1]. It is furtherordered that no testimony or other information compelled under this order may be used against Maria Mapilli in any criminal case except a prosecution for perjury, giving a false statement or otherwise failing to comply with this order (cc: all counsel and defendants) [Date Entered: 05/10/99, By: rls]…"

Pittsburgh Post Gazette 6/2/99 Jack Torry "...President Clinton and Congress clash in a courtroom this week over a constitutional issue as old as the nation itself: Who has the authority to send U.S. troops to war? Tomorrow, a bipartisan group of Congress members will ask a federal judge to decide whether Clinton violated the Constitution's balance of powers by not seeking congressional approval to continue the air war over Kosovo. Clinton has been taken to court by Reps. Tom Campbell, R-Calif., Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, and 23 other lawmakers who failed to stop the war with a House floor vote in April. They argue that only Congress has the power to send the military into combat. The lawsuit, whose authors include University of Pittsburgh law professor Jules Lobel, could lead to the first ruling on the constitutionality of the contested 1973 War Powers Resolution, passed over former President Richard Nixon's veto and opposed by every president since Nixon. Attorneys for the Clinton administration will reply with a request that U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman dismiss the case..... Clinton appointed Friedman to the federal bench in 1994...."

6/8/99 AP "...A federal judge today dismissed a lawsuit filed by a group of House members who wanted the bombing of Yugoslavia by U.S. forces to be declared illegal. The lawsuit was filed by 26 lawmakers, led by Rep. Tom Campbell, R-Calif., who alleged that President Clinton violated the War Powers Act of 1973 by authorizing military air strikes against Yugoslavia..... U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman, in his ruling granting a White House motion to dismiss the case, said ``congressional reaction to the airstrikes has sent distinctly mixed messages.'' ...."

12/22/98 Anne Gearon "..."I'm troubled by this. If I'm wrong in placing my faith in him, then the consequences are that he may leave the country and we may not be able to get him back," U.S.District Judge Paul Friedman....."

Washington Times 12/9/98 Jerry Seper Freeper A Whitewater Researcher "...EXCERPTS: "...Justice Department lawyers dropped six felony charges of a 15-count indictment against Democratic fund-raiser Charles Yah Lin Trie yesterday, and a f ederal judge delayed his pending trial until later next year....U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman, at a brief court hearing, postponed Mr. Trie's scheduled February trial on charges he illegally funneled campaign donations to the Democratic National Committee to Sept. 13 after prosecutor Geoffrey Hobart said he wanted to "streamline the case and make it more ready for trial."...Mr. Trie, a former restaurant owner in Little Rock, Ark., and longtime supporter of President Clinton...is believed to be cooperating in the department's campaign-finance probe....An indictment...said Mr. Trie and an associate, Antonio Pan, a former Lippo Group executive and friend of ex-Commerce Department and DNC official John Huang, obstructed justice ..."

Freeper ravingnutter The Patriot's Soapbox http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/1781/mnew.html "..."Michael New's petition for writ of habeas corpus hearing was held March 18, 1996. His attorneys appeared before Judge Paul Friedman in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to argue that the federal courts should accept Specialist New's case before the military courts have finished the appellate process. The government's attorney argued that the military should retain jurisdiction over Michael New's discharge. "Judge Friedman denied the petition 10 days later. In an 18 page opinion, he signaled that the New case is very important, but like the military judge he refused to rule on the merits of the case. Instead, he wrote 'The consequences of holding that a serviceman on active duty can unilaterally escape military jurisdiction...could be disruptive to military discipline, obedience, and confidence'." ..."

Boston Herald 6/9/99 Don Feder "... Take Claudia Wilken, one of Clinton's first appointments, who was placed on the U.S. District Court for Northern California in 1993. In 1997, Wilken invalidated California's popularly enacted term-limitation amendment. Casting about for a rationale, Wilken determined term limits violate the 14th Amendment because voters who prefer politicians who've been in office for eternity can't vote for their hacks of choice. How this view could be reconciled with the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, limiting presidents to two terms in office, Wilken didn't say. After it stopped laughing, the Supreme Court overturned the decision...."

Boston Herald 6/9/99 Don Feder "... Another of Clinton's Oliver Wendells, William Fletcher, went to a federal appeals court despite a total lack of courtroom experience. Who needs experience when he has theories? A former law professor, Fletcher believes judges may declare legislatures ``chronically in default'' and assume their functions. He says out loud what most Clinton appointees believe in their hearts...."

Boston Herald 6/9/99 Don Feder "...But doubtless, Clinton's crowning achievement was the nomination of Frederica Massiah-Jackson to one of the district courts. A state judge from Philadelphia, Massiah-Jackson was forced to withdraw when Republican senators (in a rare show of determination) said, ``No way in hell!'' Massiah-Jackson's record was described by Philadelphia's Democratic district attorney as ``replete with instances of leniency toward criminals, an adversarial attitude toward police and a hostile attitude toward prosecutors.'' Her acquittal rate was 60 percent higher than the average for Philadelphia judges; her sentences were twice as lenient. She once swore at a prosecutor in her courtroom and on another occasion declared that both capital punishment and three-strikes laws are racist and unconstitutional...."

AP 6/26/99 "...A federal judge has ruled that Linda Tripp's recordings of conversations with Monica Lewinsky must be turned over to Maryland prosecutors, clearing a potential roadblock to trying Ms. Tripp for breaking state wiretap laws. .....The identity of the judge that signed the order was not immediately clear, and Montanarelli refused to discuss the order..."

New York Post 6/25/99 "...This week's end-of-term rulings handed down by the Supreme Court reveal an ideological divide on the bench that is something on the order of an unbridgable chasm. The court's conservative Gang of Five - Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy- prevailed on a number of key issues since last October, and the country will only be the better because of it. But the closeness of many of the votes is worrisome. Three decisions handed down Wednesday - and decided on 5-4 margins - strongly upheld the principal of federalism by declaring states immune from lawsuits involving federal law, thus limiting the power of Congress over the states. "Congress has vast power but not all power," wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy - which, roughly translated, means that it's going to be tougher to force the states to do things they don't want to do simply by going to U.S. District Court and filing a suit. Who can argue with that? .... Also remarkable, though less ideological, was this week's decision in which the justices turned away a $1.5-billion asbestos settlement and raised the standards for class-action suits. The court, on a 7-2 vote, suggested that Congress find a way to untangle "the elephantine mass of asbestos cases" - which, taken another way, betrays high court impatience with government by litigation. To that end, the court also ruled 5-4 that the interest earned on funds that lawyershold in trust for clients belongs to ... the clients. States have no right to order the interest to go to finance legal services for the poor (let alone the ideologically driven lawsuits that often pass for such services) This should cut down on class-action activism financed by money picked from other people's pockets - a victory for property rights and for common sense....."

OICStarr.Gov 6/30/99 "...Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr issued the following statement today: Former Associate Attorney General Webster L. Hubbell pleaded guilty today in United States District Court for the District of Columbia to Count One in United States v. Webster L. Hubbell, Cr. No. 98-0394, which charged one felony count of concealing by scheme material facts from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC), in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001. Mr. Hubbell faced a maximum penalty for this offense of five years of imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, or an alternative fine based on gain or loss, any restitution ordered by the Court, a mandatory special assessment, and a three year period of supervised release. In addition, Mr. Hubbell pleaded guilty to a one count Superseding Criminal Information in United States v. Webster L. Hubbell, Cr. No. 98-0151, which charged him with willful failure to pay a tax in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7203. For this offense, Mr. Hubbell faced a maximum penalty of one year of imprisonment, a fine of $100,000, and a one year period of supervised release. Pursuant to the terms of the Plea Agreement, United States District Judge James Robertson today sentenced Mr. Hubbell to a term of one year probation on both Counts..... "

Investor's Business Daily 7/1/99 "...Just how sinister is the Internal Revenue Service? Thanks to the latest twist in the Landmark Legal Foundation's lawsuit against the agency, we have a better understanding of how bad things are there. Political corruption is just the beginning. According to a new filing, Landmark Legal Foundation has uncovered deeply troubling evidence that the IRS may have deliberately sought to cover up and destroy evidence of third-person requests to target, audit and threaten private groups and citizens -most of whom were conservative or critics of the Clinton administration...In the midst of Landmark's court battles, a ''long-term government employee'' came forward with explosive evidence from an IRS regional meeting: The IRS may be doing political dirty work for certain members of Congress and others on the left. Terry Hallihan, acting head of the nonprofit division of the IRS, speaking to the Regional Coordinated Examination Program managers' meeting on Oct. 9, 1997, made some alarming statements, say Landmark documents: First, Hallihan ''indicated that perhaps a Justice Department attorney should leave before her remarks.'' Second, she addressed ''IRS policy on 'intake notes' '' - third-person requests to audit private groups and citizens. Third, she ''noted that the IRS was trying to deal with intake notes from members of Congress and their staff members in such a way as to conceal the source of the request.'' One way to protect the IRS' friends in Congress was to ask if the tip could be blamed on a media story instead. Fourth, Hallihan said she ''was aware that intake notes relating to tips from congressmen or staffers had been or were being shredded by IRS employees.'' In other words, if it's true the IRS was destroying evidence, then it's guilty of a federal crime. This is exactly what we suspected the IRS was hiding when it began to fight tooth and nail in 1997. The IRS has an audiotape recording of Hallihan's remarks, but - no surprise - the tape hasn't found its way into the public record. Judge Henry H. Kennedy has all this information in hand. Yet he's moved at a snail's pace, despite deliberate IRS efforts to thwart the inquiry. Why? The Clinton appointee hasn't explained his actions yet...."

Associated Press 7/23/99 Janelle Carter "...A federal appeals court today reinstated the conviction of a Tyson Foods Inc. executive who had been found guilty of providing illegal gifts to former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy. The ruling sends the case of Archie Schaffer III back for sentencing. A lower court had overturned the jury's guilty verdict. "We find sufficient evidence in the record from which a reasonable juror could have concluded that Schaffer violated the Meat Inspection Act,'' the court wrote in the 26-page decision..... U.S. District Judge James Robertson in September overturned Schaffer's June 26, 1998, conviction....."

Reuters 7/26/99 "...A Florida law forcing doctors to notify the parents of teenage girls seeking abortions went into effect Monday but within hours a state judge issued an injunction blocking its enforcement. In a seven-page ruling issued Monday evening, Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis barred the state from enforcing the law passed by state legislators this year until its constitutionality is decided, a decision that likely will be made by the state supreme court...."

CNSNews.com 7/28/99 Lionel Waxman "...In this country, it is one of our most cherished rights to be considered innocent by the law until properly found guilty. Except in Connecticut, of course. Connecticut has just passed a law permitting police to confiscate all the firearms of anyone they believe might be considering a criminal act. All they have to do is apply to a judge for a warrant. The judge would hear the police in secret and issue the confiscation warrant if he believes the target is dangerous, if, for example, you have made threats, been cruel to animals, or abused drugs or alcohol. So in Connecticut, if you get quietly drunk at home on Saturday night, police can seize your guns. Kick your dog, lose your guns. Make an obscene gesture on the highway, lose your guns -- and probably your car....After a few years of this, Connecticut will become as safe as Cuba...."

Judicial Watch 7/29/99 Larry Klayman "...Today, Judge Susan Webber Wright issued her order requiring Bill Clinton to pay $90 thousand dollars as a result of her civil contempt citation of the President. The fine, which will never be paid for by Clinton himself, but by influence peddlers from his so-called legal defense fund, such as the Riadys who paid large sums of hush money to Webster Hubbell, is a joke. It even falls far short of the money requested by the lawyers of Paula Jones. Another woman involved in the Jones' litigation, Dolly Kyle Browning, had requested that Judge Wright commence criminal contempt proceedings against the President, for his false testimony, and other misconduct. However, Judge Wright, in her apparent haste to end the case, refused to consider Browning's pleadings, despite the hard fact that Browning was a material witness in the case and had standing to make such a request. Nor was Browning compensated, as Jones, for the expense of having to deal with the President's misconduct. As a result, Browning, through Judicial Watch, has taken an appeal to the Eighth Circuit...."

Associated Press 7/31/99 "...The chief judge of the U.S. District Court bypassed the traditional random assignment system to send criminal cases against presidential friends Webster Hubbell and Charlie Trie to judges appointed by President Clinton, according to court officials. U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson's decision to abandon the longtime random computer assignment for the high-profile cases has raised concerns among several other judges, according to Associated Press interviews with them. The judges also raise concerns about an appearance of possible conflicts of interest, because judges who got the cases were friendly with key players - presidential confidant Vernon Jordan and defense lawyer Reid Weingarten - and made rulings that handicapped prosecutors...."

Associated Press 7/31/99 "... Johnson, an appointee of President Carter, assigned: -Friedman the Trie case, the first major prosecution from the Justice Department probe of Democratic fund raising. Clinton nominated Friedman, a former president of the local bar, in 1994. -Robertson the Hubbell tax case, Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's first prosecution in Washington. Robertson is an ex-president of the local bar and a former partner at the law firm of former White House counsel Lloyd Cutler. Robertson was nominated by Clinton in the last days of Cutler's tenure as counsel in 1994. Robertson donated $1,000 to Clinton's 1992 presidential bid and has said he ``worked on the periphery'' of that campaign. When Johnson bypassed the random draw for these cases, there were 12 full-time judges on the federal court, seven of them Clinton appointees. Four were Republican appointees. The court also has a number of senior judges who work part-time. Experts said the assignments to Clinton-nominated judges did not violate any rules, but could shake public confidence...."

Washington Post 7/31/99 Pete Yost "... One politically sensitive aspect of the Hubbell tax evasion indictment was a reference to a $62,500 consulting arrangement that Jordan helped obtain for Hubbell, making Jordan a potential witness. Robertson and Jordan are friends from their days in the civil rights movement. Jordan did not return repeated calls seeking comment. Johnson assigned the Trie case and two subsequent cases against Democratic fund-raisers to Friedman, who tossed out various charges. After one of Friedman's rulings was overturned on appeal, Trie agreed to plead guilty. Friedman and Weingarten, the defense lawyer in two of the three fund-raising cases before Friedman, are longtime friends...."

New York Post 8/1/99 Brian Blomquist "...The chief federal judge in Washington threw out the normal judge-selection rules and handpicked two Clinton-appointed judges on cases that could have damaged the president, it was reported yesterday. ...."I think she made a mistake," a federal judge in the court told The Post yesterday. "There are a number of us who don't believe it was a good idea to specially assign cases. We believe in the concept of random assignment." The judge said Johnson's assignments "make the court look bad," especially during a time when it's important to show the public that even the president doesn't get special breaks from the court..... One judge speculated that Johnson handed the Hubbell and Trie cases to Clinton-friendly judges to "counteract" her decisions against the president in the Sexgate probe...."

Judicial Watch 8/2/99 Tom Fitton letter to Judge Johnson "... Dear Judge Johnson: .... Last Saturday, July 31, and today, Monday, August 2, 1999, reports appeared in the Associated Press suggesting that you have not made random assignments of certain politically charged criminal cases concerning the Clinton Administration. Copies of these reports are attached. Yesterday, on Fox News Sunday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch commented on these allegations. Judicial Watch has also been active since its inception in 1994 in bringing lawsuits, in the public interest, to address allegations of corruption in the Clinton Administration, and other branches of government. Judicial Watch would not be true to its "core mission" if it overlooked the allegations contained in the Associated Press reports of the last few days. Accordingly, with deep respect for you, and with an appreciation for your fine reputation for integrity and honesty, we respectfully request, on behalf of the public, that you quickly address, in the public domain, the allegations contained in the Associated Press stories...."

Washington Times 8/2/99 "...The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said yesterday he is disturbed that there has "apparently been selective assigning" of criminal cases against friends of President Clinton's to judges he appointed. "Something sort of smells," said Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, Utah Republican and a GOP presidential contender. "It looks as though they're covering these things up. Certainly it looks like these plea bargains have been deals, and we even worry about whether the judges were preselected so that they would give these soft plea bargains credibility." Mr. Hatch said he has no evidence of wrongdoing by U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson, the selecting judge, "but this doesn't look right."

USA Today 8/2/99 AP "...U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson's decision to abandon the longtime random computer assignment for the high-profile cases has raised concerns among several other judges, according to Associated Press interviews with them. The judges also raise concerns about an appearance of possible conflicts of interest, because judges who got the cases were friendly with key players - presidential confidant Vernon Jordan and defense lawyer Reid Weingarten - and made rulings that handicapped prosecutors..... ''As far as assigning a recently appointed judge of the same party, it's dangerous, it's risky, it's hazardous because the outcome might support the cynical view that the judge did not decide the matter on the merits even though that may be the furthest thing from the truth,'' Columbia University law professor H. Richard Uviller said. New York University law professor Stephen Gillers said, ''If the case is high-profile, that should increase the presumption in favor of random selection.'' ...Johnson assigned the Trie case and two subsequent cases against Democratic fund-raisers to Friedman, who tossed out various charges. After one of Friedman's rulings was overturned on appeal, Trie agreed to plead guilty. ..."

Associated Press 8/2/99 Pete Yost "...U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson summoned her colleagues to an unusual meeting Monday and told them that heavy workloads were a factor in her assignment of criminal cases against two presidential friends to judges appointed by President Clinton, according to attendees... The story noted some of her colleagues were concerned by the special assignments. According to several judges who attended the late-afternoon meeting, the chief judge called the meeting to discuss a letter she plans to write in response to the AP article. She declined repeated requests to comment before the story was released.. Johnson told the judges that she will point out in the letter that her predecessors had assigned cases outside the random draw in scandals such as Watergate and Iran-Contra. Those assignments, however, were to some of the most experienced judges in the courthouse at the time and not to recent appointees, AP reported this weekend... "

Freeper mrssmith observes USCode 28 372 "( c )...(1) Any person alleging that a circuit, district, or bankruptcy judge, or a magistrate, has engaged in conduct prejudicial to the effective and expeditious administration of the business of the courts...the judicial council may, in its discretion, refer any complaint under this subsection, together with the record of any associated proceedings and its recommendations for appropriate action, to the Judicial Conference of the United States. "...":

NY Post 8/3/99 "...The latest oil slick to bubble to the surface comes directly from Judge Norma Holloway Johnson, the chief federal judge in Washington, D.C., who oversaw the Ken Starr investigation.... Take for instance the case of Hubbell - which Holloway sent to Judge James Robertson, who was appointed by Clinton. The judge is an old buddy of Clinton confidant Vernon Jordan. Significant? Very. Hubbell was brought to court on a tax-fraud case which included Starr's charge that Hubbell received hush money from Jordan, among others.... "

The Wall Street Journal Editorial 8/4/99 "...With something of a post-impeachment reassessment going on, we are learning more about how the legal system has favored the Clinton team. Suddenly, we have the case of Norma Holloway Johnson, chief judge of the Federal District Court in the District of Columbia.... It should be said that Judge Johnson cast a skeptical eye on some Clinton claims when she heard the assertions of special privileges for Secret Service agents. But it now turns out that Judge Johnson was also instrumental in the Linda Tripp indictment. The Maryland prosecutors could not proceed without the evidence of the Tripp tapes, and in receiving them Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr had granted her immunity that would have protected them from both federal and state prosecutors. But Judge Johnson intervened and decided to transmit the tapes to the Maryland prosecutors office....."

The Washington Times Letter to the Editor From Judge Norma Halloway Johnson 8/4/99 "...As I firmly believe that justice is best served in the courts of law and not on the front page of a newspaper, it has long been my policy not to discuss my judicial decision-making with members of the press. However, I feel compelled to make an exception to that policy in order to correct the disturbing misimpression left by an Associated Press story published in The Washington Times ("Judges fret over assigning of cases," Aug. 1).

The article alleges that I "bypassed the traditional random assignment system" to assign certain criminal cases to judges appointed to President Clinton, singling out the criminal case against Charles Yah Lin Trie, which was assigned to Judge Paul L. Friedman, and the criminal case against Webster Hubbell, which was assigned to Judge James Robertson. The article implies that these case were assigned to judges based on political motivations. This unsubstantiated assertion could not be further from the truth. Moreover, the article does a significant disservice to the perception of impartial justice that I believe all of the judges on our court strive mightily to maintain. Contrary to the false perception left by the AP story, these cases were assigned to highly capable federal judges. Politics was not and is never a factor in our case assignments.

The circumstances leading to these routine "special assignments" are quite simple. For years, Local Rule 403(g) of the Rules of the District Court for the District of Columbia has authorized the chief judge to specially assign protracted or complex criminal cases to consenting judges when circumstances warrant. My predecessors and I have used this assignment system to enable our court to handle expeditiously high-profile criminal cases with unique demands on judicial resources. For example, criminal cases arising from Watergate and the Iran-Contra affair were handled through special assignment. In both these instances of overwhelming media scrutiny and complexity, the special assignment system well served our needs. In addition to these highly publicized criminal cases, special assignment also has been a valuable tool in addressing multiple-defendant narcotics conspiracy cases. It is the responsibility of the chief judge to move the docket as expeditiously as possible. That was all that was intended by these assignments.

Finally, I must note that the article irresponsibly impugns the reputation of two fine federal judges by suggesting conflicts of interest in their handling of these cases. Neither judge had any obligation to recuse himself from the cases to which he was assigned, for neither faced a conflict of any sort. A judge's prior affiliations and acquaintances, alone, do not require recusal or disqualification. Indeed, many judges on this court know many lawyers and public officials in Washington. If recusal were required on the basis of these innocuous connections, it would wreak havoc on case scheduling.

In the future, I suggest that before your newspaper prints a story that impugns the integrity of two outstanding members of the federal judiciary, you offer more evidence of an actual onflict than the slender reed of innuendo that supports these current allegations. Such an unsubstantiated and insupportable attack does your publication little credit and the truth much harm....NORMA HALLOWAY JOHNSON Chief judge United States District Court for the District of Columbia Washington..."

Washington Times 8/5/99 Jerry Seper "...The eight federal judges appointed by President Clinton to the U.S. District Court in Washington meet privately every month in closed-door sessions that other jurists believe are improper and call into question the court's impartiality. "I cannot imagine any legitimate reason for them to meet together once a month, even socially," said one veteran courthouse official familiar with the sessions. "It's not only in bad taste, it certainly has the appearance of impropriety. It's hard to imagine any rationale for these meetings." Another court official said they "reek with impropriety." ...None of the eight Clinton-appointed judges, all of whom were named to the bench between 1994 to 1998, would comment on the meetings or their content. ....Four judges appointed by other presidents, both Republican and Democrat, said the meetings have been taking place for some time, although specific topics are not known. .... "The Clinton appointees have confirmed that they meet together, and we know they do, but where they go and what they discuss I just don't know," said one judge. "But a very important part of what we do here is our collegiality. We all come with political viewpoints but we try to leave politics behind. Unfortunately, the Clinton appointees have gone off on their own." ....The nature of the isolation, another judge said, was punctuated by an e-mail message sent to all of the judges inviting them to a birthday party for U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina, a 1994 Clinton appointee. The message asked the judges to guess Judge Urbina's age for a prize but excluded members of the "Magnificent Seven" -- a name the first seven Clinton appointees had used to describe their group before Judge Roberts' 1998 appointment.... "Even if deviations from the district court's random case assignment procedures are technically permitted by local rule, I share the concern that has been expressed by other judges on the court that these assignments will damage the public's confidence that these cases were impartially adjudicated," he [Hatch] said. Committee member Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican, echoed Mr. Hatch's concerns, adding that as a former prosecutor he was "stunned" by the Johnson assignments.... Some judges questioned whether the Hubbell and Trie cases, both of which ended in plea agreements, could be considered protracted or complex. They said several high-profile and lengthy trials have been assigned through the random-selection process...."

AP Janelle Carter 8/5/99 "...The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman has asked Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist to consider investigating why two cases involving President Clinton's friends were assigned to Clinton-appointed judges. .....Several other judges have expressed concern that the assignments had the appearance of a conflict of interest. Friedman dismissed various charges against Trie. One of Friedman's rulings was reversed on appeal, and Trie is to be sentenced in two weeks, probably to probation, on a plea-bargained guilty plea. Robertson dismissed the tax case against Hubbell, a former associate attorney general, who eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor when an appeals court reinstated the case. Robertson was later chosen, at random, to handle a felony case against Hubbell that charged him with lying to federal regulators. Robertson threw out the central felony count in that case, but again an appeals court reversed him, and Hubbell eventually pleaded guilty to one felony count.....Still, Hatch asked Rehnquist to look into the matter using the Judicial Conference of the United States, a panel of judges that includes chief justices from each judicial circuit. As chief justice, Rehnquist is presiding officer of the conference, which makes policy concerning the administration of U.S. courts. "I wish to ask you ... to consider whether an examination by the Judicial Conference might be warranted,'' Hatch wrote. Such an inquiry should examine whether other cases involving the Clinton administration have been assigned in a manner that deviated from normal procedure, whether the facts justify any deviations and the propriety of any deviations, Hatch wrote....."

Judicial Watch 8/6/99 Larry Klayman "...Yesterday, as reported by the Associated Press, Judicial Watch asked the higher court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to investigate recent allegations that certain assignments of cases concerning the Clinton Administration and The White House have been steered to recently appointed Clinton judges, and that these Clinton judges, who are also alleged to have once called themselves "the Magnificent Seven," have been holding meetings among themselves. Ordinarily, it is the appellate court which is encharged under law to investigate allegations concerning the conduct of lower court judges. Judicial Watch will await these findings before deciding whether further steps are necessary, as, under these circumstances, the judicial system should be allowed the first opportunity to investigate and take whatever corrective steps are necessary. As many cases concerning the Clinton Administration and The White House are now pending before Clinton appointed judges, Judicial Watch has asked for a swift investigation...."

Judicial Watch 8/6/99 Tom Fitton 8/5/99 Letter to Judicial Council for the District of Columbia Circuit "...While not responding to our letter of August 2, 1999, Judge Johnson responded directly to The Washington Times (see Exhibit 3). In her letter of August 2, 1999, to The Washington Times, Judge Johnson accused the Associated Press and The Washington Times of "impugn[ing] the integrity of two outstanding members of the judiciary..." She adds, "Such an unsubstantiated and unsupportable article does the public little credit and the truth much harm. Id. at 2. However, Judge Johnson's letter does not answer the fundamental question: Why did she assign highly-charged criminal cases concerning the President, The White House, and the Clinton Administration to recent Clinton appointees, when either the random selection system or assignment to other more experienced judges could have occurred - particularly since her rationale in bypassing the random system depends on the complexity and likely protractedness of the cases? According to both the Associated Press and The Washington Times, at least six other judicial officers have raised questions about the case assignment process. Senator Orrin Hatch has also expressed concern about the controversy. In light of the fact that sources of the articles themselves were judicial officers, the questions raised in them take on added weight. Judicial Watch has the utmost respect for Judge Johnson, but the allegations raised in the articles remain largely unaddressed by her letter. In addition, Judicial Watch respectfully requests that this Court investigate additional allegations contained in an article entitled "Clinton appointees meet privately; Other judges, lawmakers question propriety of secrecy," which appeared on the front page of The Washington Times today (see Exhibit 2). Without making any accusations and with deep respect for the District Court for the District of Columbia, Judge Johnson and all of its judges, we, therefore, respectfully request that the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit expeditiously commence an investigation of this important and serious matter, under its supervisory powers...."

Freeper mrsmith 8/6/99 "...Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist is the Circuit Justice of the DC Court. Judicial Conference of the United States Judicial Code of Conduct :

Canon 1: A judge should uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary....

Canon 2: A judge should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities....

Canon 3: A judge should perform the duties of the office impartially and diligently. ("A judge shall disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the judge's impartiality might reasonably be questioned, including but not limited to instances in which the judge has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party ... ")

Canon 4: A judge may engage in extrajudicial activities to improve the law, the legal system and the administration of justice...

Canon 5: A judge should regulate extrajudicial activities to minimize the risk of conflict with judicial duties....

Canon 6: A judge should regularly file reports of compensation received for law-related and extrajudicial activities. .."

www.nypost.com 8/7/99 "...The eight Clinton-appointed judges in Washington's U.S. District Court have been gathering behind closed doors for secret monthly meetings, at the exclusion of the other 15 judges at the federal courthouse. These meetings are highly inappropriate, and they raise legitimate suspicions that the jurists are more concerned with politics than the law. This is especially worrisome considering the fact that Judge Norma Holloway Johnson personally selected judges to hear two high-profile cases rather than, as is the routine, allowing a computer to randomly spit out assignments.... The judges and their secret meetings are just another example for the shady, unethical behavior that will forever be associated with the Clinton years. That this administration has extended its reach to the system of justice and the rule of law is frightening - but not surprising...."

Augusta Chronicle 8/9/99 "...The revelation by The Washington Times that the eight federal judges appointed by President Clinton to the U.S. District Court in Washington meet privately every month in closed-door sessions dynamites the very foundation of judicial ethics and impartiality in this country. There is absolutely no reason for these meetings, which are described in e-mails addressed monthly to each of the judges..... None of the eight Clinton appointees are talking to the press, even though they have confirmed that they plot who-knows-what together. But The Times reports the other judges -- appointed by other presidents of both parties -- ``question the propriety of the sessions and lament what they describe as the `loss of collegiality' when the judges fail to come together as a group.''...."

 

Investor's Business Daily 8/9/99 "...One thing you can say about the Clinton presidency: Almost everyone connected with it seems tainted...... She named Clinton appointee Judge James Robertson to the Hubbell case in which he dismissed a count of perjury. His ruling was overturned on appeal. And Hubbell entered a guilty plea. She also named Judge Paul L. Friedman, another Clinton appointee, to the Trie case. He threw out several charges against Trie. They too were reinstated by an appeals court. Trie ended up pleading guilty. Johnson insists she did nothing wrong in going outside the usual random selection method to assign these cases. But her reason for doing so just doesn't hold up. She says she thought the cases were going to be ''protracted and complex,'' and these two judges' schedules were more open. Guilty pleas truncated both cases. And other judges told The Washington Times that several high-profile and lengthy trials had been assigned randomly in the interim. Now we learn, again from the Times, that these two judges and the other six Clinton appointees on the 23-judge district court meet monthly in private sessions. What do they talk about? Evidently, only they know. Is this unusual? Very. Other judges on the court said the meetings reek of impropriety.....From the Justice Department to the office of the Independent Counsel and the courts themselves, this president has tarred normally independent institutions with his gutter politics....."

WorldNetDaily 8/11/99 Joseph Farah "...A Little Rock panel of 12 distinguished citizens this week awarded more than half a million dollars to two Pulaski County sheriff's lieutenants after finding that Pat Matrisiciana defamed them in a film about the deaths of two Saline County boys in 1987 -- the so-called "boys on the tracks" case. The verdict is a total miscarriage of justice.... Here's the problem with the verdict: For starters, the cops were indeed investigated by law enforcement officials in Arkansas. An eyewitness placed them at the scene for Jean Duffey, a former Saline County prosecutor herself, and Linda Ives, the mother of one of the boys, both of whom participated in the making of the video. Furthermore, even if the cops are innocent of any involvement in the case, they were not libeled by the video. There was no "reckless disregard for the truth" by the filmmakers, as I testified in the trial last week..... The best investigation of "the boys on the tracks case" was conducted by Ives and Duffey in their unofficial capacities. The pair is incapable of reckless disregard because they wholeheartedly believe the officers are guilty of murder, as Ives testified in the case. How can one recklessly disregard the truth when one is consumed with finding the truth? It's just one of those legal impossibilities..."

Sacramento Bee 8/27/99 Calvin Woodward "…Court rulings blocking a school-voucher program in Cleveland and providing for an Arizona teenager's abortion are raising red flags in the Republican presidential campaign. Steve Forbes on Thursday decried the rulings as "judicial activism run amok." Gov. George W. Bush also weighed in on the decision in Cleveland that sent the opening week of school into turmoil. The suspension of the voucher program was a "judicial overreach with serious casualties - Cleveland's disadvantaged school children," Bush, the governor of Texas, said Thursday. If federal courts keep this up they "could stifle the ability of faith-based organizations to help neighbors in need." ….Forbes said the two cases demonstrate "judicial activism must be stopped once and for all. …"

Associated Press 8/24/99 "….The Clinton administration and a former aide will not have to pay a $285,864 penalty for the way they described the makeup of Hillary Rodham Clinton's health care task force, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia found the White House and former top aide Ira Magaziner did not act in ``bad faith,'' and should not have to pay legal bills for the opposing side. The dispute concerns the membership and leadership of the task force formed in 1993, the first year of President Clinton's tenure, and headed by his wife. U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled in 1997 that the administration provided a ``dishonest explanation'' of the composition of the task force, which developed a health care plan that failed to pass Congress in 1994. Magaziner swore in a 1993 affidavit that ``only federal government employees'' were members of a group advising the task force. Courts used the description to keep the group's records from the public. A three-judge panel of the appeals court found the district court was ``clearly erroneous'' in ruling in favor of three nonprofit medical and legal advocacy groups. …."

UPI 8/26/99 "…The woman who headed the federal jury that convicted eight Branch Davidian members in connection with the 1993 siege near Waco, Texas, says they should get new trials because of new FBI admissions. Sarah Bain headed a federal court jury that convicted the Davidians on charges related to the Feb. 28, 1993 shootout with Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents that began the 51-day siege. Four ATF agents died when they attempted to serve a warrant on Davidian leader David Koresh. In an interview with WOAI radio in San Antonio today, Bain said the admission by the FBI that agents fired flammable tear gas grenades near the compound hours before the fire that ended the siege is grounds to ask for new trials. Koresh and 80 of his followers died during the fire. Bain said: "The question never was settled in our minds during the trial as to exactly who started that fire. Most of us had some doubts that the Branch Davidians were responsible for mass suicide." …..Bain said: "All the evidence that was gathered that caused them to be put in prison was gathered after the fire. Since it now appears that some of the evidence may have been misidentified and mislabeled, and possibly the origin of that fire is now in question, it seems that they might rightly ask for a new trial." …."

Los Angeles Times 9/14/99 AP "....The long court fight over Proposition 187, which sought to bar illegal immigrants from receiving public benefits and services, was ended Monday by the federal judge who first found most of the initiative unconstitutional in 1994. U.S. District Judge Mariana R. Pfaelzer approved a July agreement between the state and civil rights groups to drop remaining challenges to her rulings that Proposition 187 violated the U.S. Constitution. ..... Proposition 187, which was approved by nearly 60% of California voters, would have denied public education, social services and nonemergency health care to illegal immigrants, who were already ineligible for most health and welfare benefits under federal law. The measure would also have required teachers, doctors and other service providers to report suspected illegal immigrants to federal authorities. ..... All that will remain of Proposition 187 are two relatively minor laws that establish state criminal penalties for the manufacture and use of false documents to conceal illegal immigration status....."

THE WASHINGTON TIMES 9/16/99 Jerry Seper "....A secret investigative report handed over to the chief judge of the U.S. District Court in Washington -- but never made public --clears independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr and his staff of leaking grand jury information to the media in the Monica Lewinsky investigation. Senior Appeals Court Judge John W. Kern III reached that conclusion in a report that was delivered to Chief U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson but was kept under seal. Judge Kern had been named in January to find out whether Mr. Starr or his staff should face criminal contempt charges concerning 24 media stories. The Kern report follows a federal appeals court order on Monday that overturned a separate ruling by Judge Johnson. Judge Johnson's ruling ordered Mr. Starr to face criminal contempt proceedings in the suspected leak of a story not included in the original 24. The appeals panel said the judge used the wrong standard for determining there was sufficient preliminary evidence of an illegal leak. Judge Johnson's overturned ruling related to a Jan. 31 article in the New York Times that said Mr. Starr believed a sitting president could be indicted. Judge Johnson said the disclosure violated grand jury secrecy rules -- a ruling the court panel rejected 3-0. According to a lawyer who has not read the document but is familiar with its contents, the Kern report clears Mr. Starr and his staff of White House charges they illegally leaked information for the 24 Lewinsky stories. ...."

 

Washington Weekly 9/20/99 Marvin Lee "....When Isaiah Webb applied for jobs with the District of Columbia he believed his race and sex to be a factor in the decision by the District not to employ him. So Isaiah Webb filed suit in U.S. District Court claiming he was discriminated against on the basis of race and sex with regard to several positions to which he applied within the D.C. Department of Corrections. The District of Columbia (DC) usually deals with such lawsuits by tactics of stall, delay, and with the sympathetic ear of politically correct liberal judges. But Isaiah Webb's case was assigned to Judge Royce Lamberth, a Reagan appointee who is neither politically correct nor does he tolerate government misconduct. So when the DC pulled its usual tactics of destruction of documents, withholding of evidence and plain obstruction of justice, judge Lamberth said "no more," and entered a judgment of default against the District. Counsel for the District whined and found a more sympathetic ear to its incompetent and illegal behavior in the Court of Appeals which remanded Lamberth's default judgment "for further consideration of less onerous sanctions." ..... Judge Lamberth then explained why judges who condone official misconduct in fact reinforce it: "Unfortunately, if not altogether surprisingly, the effect of the Court of Appeals' decision in Bonds seems to have been to instill in Corporation Counsel a certain arrogance and a belief that the District of Columbia plays by different rules than those applicable to other litigants. That was certainly the attitude displayed by the defendant and Corporation Counsel in this case, and the Court of Appeals' remand no doubt has reinforced that perception of special status." And further, that: "By vacating the default judgment entered by this Court, the Court of Appeals has once again demonstrated to the District and the community that the District of Columbia and the Office of Corporation Counsel enjoy an elevated status, in which they are permitted to engage in misconduct without fear of any real consequence." And then came the kicker: "The Court of Appeals appears either blind to this unfortunate perception or willing to condone it. With all due respect, this Court, however, will not apply such a double standard, in this case or in any other, unless specifically directed to do so by the Court of Appeals." And thus Judge Lamberth last week reinstated his prior judgment of default and dared the Court of Appeals to overturn him once again and block his efforts to uphold the rule of law. ...."

CNSNews.com 9/22/99 Thomas Jipping "...Why has this cultural jihad occurred all of a sudden? According to the Associated Press, officials of the pageant organization, which is headquartered in New Jersey, are afraid of violating the state's anti-discrimination law. What judges did to the Boy Scouts they could do to Miss America.... If you think that judges' decisions don't matter, just read the papers and look around your neighborhood. Judges told the people they cannot protect preborn children. Judges told the people they must tolerate pornography flowing through their communities, across their television screens, and even sold on military bases. Judges told school children they could not even look at the Ten Commandments, could not participate in prayer even if they wanted to, could not hear a passage from the Bible, and could not have God's blessing when they graduated. Judges have now told school children they may not pray before football game and told their parents they may not pray before school board meetings. Judges told the people they may not encourage citizen legislatures with term limits and must use their tax dollars for welfare for illegal aliens. Judges told people who do not want to discriminate by race that they must do so. Judges told the people that the only explanation about human origins that may be taught is Darwinian evolution. Judges told the people that men and women are the same and that any other view is an impermissible stereotype. Judges told the people that any moral objection to homosexuality is nothing but hate. And judges are telling the people that the last vestiges of morality, propriety, and tradition are simply exercises in discrimination and have to go as well. Folks, the most damaging cultural, social, economic, and political developments of the last two generations have come not from the statehouse but from the courthouse. Judges are twiddling while our culture is burning. I hope it's not too late....."

Judicial Watch 9/22/99 Joe Giganti "....Linda Tripp is a material witness in Judicial Watch's $90 million dollar class action lawsuit, and has testified that Hillary Clinton is behind the scandal. Indeed, in sworn testimony Ms. Tripp herself has identified Mrs. Clinton as the person who is also behind her criminal prosecution in Maryland. To prosecute Ms. Tripp for political purposes -- to try to destroy her credibility -- would be an obstruction of justice. For these reasons, Judicial Watch filed a request for any communications between The White House and the Maryland State prosecutor, Stephen Montanarelli, urging or suggesting the prosecution of Ms. Tripp, under the Maryland Public Information Act, which is similar to the Federal Freedom of Information Act. When Mr. Montanarelli stonewalled, Judicial Watch filed suit. When suit was filed, Mr. Montanarelli filed misleading affidavits, and as a likely result, the lower court judge entered an order requiring the prosecutor to prepare a list of all such documents he had in his possession. The purpose of Judicial Watch's lawsuit was not to obtain legitimate grand jury information, but rather any communications from The White House and its allies improperly urging a prosecution of Ms. Tripp for political purposes. Accordingly, the Maryland appeals court's overturning of the lower court order yesterday, justified primarily on the basis that Judicial Watch sought grand jury information, was disingenuous and likely reflects a desire to protect the Democrat Maryland State prosecutor and his colleagues in The White House....."

Associated Press 9/21/99 Pete Yost "....A congressman has received no response from a judge about why prosecutions of presidential friends Webster Hubbell and Charlie Trie were specially assigned to judges appointed by President Clinton, the congressman's office said Tuesday. In an Aug. 26 letter to U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson, Rep. Howard Coble, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee's courts and intellectual property panel, said he had "concerns'' about news reports that Johnson bypassed the computerized system that randomly assigns cases to various judges. Coble also said he was concerned about news reports that Democratic judges at the federal courthouse in the District of Columbia meet privately once a month. Subcommittee staffers have discussed the matters with the Administrative Office of the Courts, which oversees the judiciary, but "we have not received a response'' from Johnson, said Ed McDonald, a spokesman for Coble, R-N.C...... "In slightly more than one year's time, these two Clinton-appointed judges issued five decisions'' in various cases "that benefited friends and allies of President Clinton'' and "in each case, these same judges were reversed or effectively reversed,'' Coble wrote Johnson. "Are the press reports regarding the assignment of the'' Hubbell and Trie "cases essentially accurate?'' Coble asked the chief judge. ...."

St. Louis Post-Dispatch 10/5/99 Deirdre Shesgreen "....In a surprising and highly unusual rebuke, the Senate defeated the nomination of Ronnie White to the federal bench in St. Louis. The vote caught White's advocates off guard, and many lashed out at Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond, R-Mo., who had indicated earlier that he supported White. Bond voted against White on Tuesday in the 54-to-45 vote, which split along party lines. Rep. Bill Clay, D-St. Louis, called Bond's decision "reprehensible" and said that Bond "reversed himself completely" from previous statements. Bond defended his decison, saying that his earlier statements about White, made last year before the Senate Judiciary Committee and during his re-election campaign, were based on "recommendations from (White's) friends, some of who are my friends." Since then, Bond said, "the law enforcement community started weighing in very heavily. . . and regretably I reached the conclusion that he was not suitable for a lifetime appointment." Bond said he only looked at the nomination closely this weekend. "I did not have an opporutnity to look at is sooner," he said. ....."

Washington Post 10/6/99 Charles Babington Joan Biskupic "....The full Senate yesterday voted to reject a judicial nominee for the first time in 12 years, prompting President Clinton to denounce the move as "a disgraceful act" tinged by racial considerations because the nominee was African American. The GOP-controlled Senate voted 54 to 45, along strict party lines, to reject the nomination of Ronnie White, the first black judge on Missouri's state supreme court. Clinton had tapped White to be a federal district court judge, but Republicans said he was insufficiently supportive of the death penalty. Rejection of judicial nominations by the full Senate is highly unusual, in part because endangered nominations are normally stopped in committee or stalled before a Senate vote. Some GOP senators had supported White when his nomination was approved by the Judiciary Committee, but they apparently had second thoughts after sharp criticism this week from Sen. John D. Ashcroft (R-Mo.)...... But the tide began to turn after a Republican Party luncheon yesterday at which Ashcroft, facing reelection in Missouri next year, urged colleagues to defeat the nomination. In a floor debate that began Monday night, Ashcroft described White, 46, as "pro-criminal" and an "activist" jurist. Ashcroft noted that numerous law enforcement groups in Missouri complained about White's record, including his dissent in death penalty cases......But Republican Policy Committee Chairman Larry E. Craig (Idaho) said last-minute evidence by sheriffs and prosecutors was decisive in swaying GOP opinion......"

Arizona Republic 10/6/99 Victoria Harker "....A federal judge in Tucson has ruled that Arizona statutes prohibiting the use of fetal tissue for medical research are unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge William Browning ruled in favor of a group of plaintiffs, including four people with Parkinson's disease and two Arizona affiliates of Planned Parenthood Inc. Studies have suggested that some fetal-tissue transplantations can produce dopamine and effectively treat Parkinson's, a progressive neurological disorder stemming from a patient's inability to produce dopamine, a substance in the brain that controls voluntary movement. ...... "I'm very disappointed with the federal judge who has chosen to disregard the will of people in Arizona in striking down a constitutional statute," Jakubczyk said. "It is once again an example of how logic is turned on its head when the subject of abortion appears before the court. "The pro-abortion industry is more interested in selling body parts than they are in seeking to cure any disease." ...."

Associated Press 10/5/99 Jim Abrams "....The Senate today rejected President Clinton's nomination of a Missouri jurist to be a federal district judge. Republicans had attacked Ronnie White for being reluctant to impose the death penalty. Senators then approved two other Clinton administration nominees, including a close friend of the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to be judges. ..... ``During his tenure, he has far more frequently dissented in capital cases than any other judge,'' Ashcroft said. ...... "


Associated Press 11/1/99 James Jefferson "…. Presidential friend Yah Lin "Charlie'' Trie was sentenced today to four months of home detention and three years of probation for violating campaign finance laws. Trie, 50, also was fined $5,000 and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service…..U.S. District Judge George Howard Jr. imposed a stiffer term than prosecutors had recommended for the former Little Rock restaurateur. Prosecutors had suggested probation because of Trie's support of a federal investigation of campaign fund-raising. Howard said he tacked on the additional sanctions because of concerns that Trie and others who violate federal campaign finance laws "compromise the integrity and the virtue of this great nation.'' ….."

NewsMax.com 10/30/99 Carl Limbacher "…. A Taiwanese businessman who visited the White House 57 times says that the Democratic National Committee urged a federal judge to "throw the book" at him after he exposed the Clinton administration's connection to the Chinese campaign cash scandal. The explosive allegation was leveled by key Chinagate witness Johnny Chung, who spoke last Saturday at a Pasadena, California awards dinner held in his honor by Judicial Watch, a Washington based public interest lawfirm….But Mr. Chung's most compelling account was about the donation he made to former Energy Department Secretary Hazel O'Leary. Chung says that after he requested a meeting with the then-Energy Secretary for representives of China's national oil company, he was solicited inside the Energy Department by an O'Leary aide -- who indicated that such a meeting could be arranged after Chung made a $25,000 donation to Africare, O'Leary's favorite charity. ……"I made my $25,000 donation to Africare and I got my access," Chung told the Judicial Watch audience. Then why was no independent counsel appointed to investigate the Chung-O'Leary transaction? "Janet Reno, attorney general, said to me, 'Thank you' is not evidence," Chung said. .."

NewsMax.com 10/30/99 Carl Limbacher "…. Chung repeatedly stressed his intent was to "tell the truth" but says now that his honesty nearly landed him in jail. Party officials, Chung claims, pushed for him to get the maximum sentence for the crimes to which he pleaded guilty, which could have put Chinagate's most significant cooperating witness behind bars for 37 years and cost him $1.45 million in fines. "When (the court) got ready to sentence me, the DNC wrote a letter to my sentencing judge (Manuel) Real portraying themselves as a victim. They were 'victimized' by Johnny Chung. So they asked the judge to throw the book at my face." Chung described Judge Real as "tough judge", a Lyndon Johnson appointee, but one who wouldn't bend to the DNC's heavy handed tactics. "He throw the book out." Because of his cooperation with investigators, Judge Real sentenced the former DNC donor to just five years probation…..As for the recepients of Chung's campaign cash, such as O'Leary and the First Lady, Judge Real said, "It's very strange that the giver pleads guilty and the givee gets off free." ….."

WorldNetDaily 11/8/99 Llewellyn Rockwell, Jr. "… Is free enterprise legal in America or not? That is the fundamental question raised by federal judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's 207-page "Findings of Fact" against Microsoft. Here's a judge who has been openly biased from the beginning, who didn't know how to turn on a computer a couple of years ago, and who even the New York Times says had to learn about software as the trial progressed. This judge, pretending to know more than hundreds of millions of freely choosing consumers, now calls Microsoft a monopoly and demands that it be smashed. For all the mind-numbing rhetoric, the invocations of outdated economic models, and the intricate legalese, there is one enormous, gaping hole in the judge's argument: Microsoft committed no crimes in the normal sense in which that word is used. Nowhere does the judge show that Microsoft committed fraud, stole, coerced, broke contracts, or threatened anyone or any company with violence. It didn't take advantage of any government regulations to erect legal barriers to its competitors and it didn't benefit from any subsidies. The company has not aggressed on anyone's property or forced any producer or consumer to pay the company money, to sign any contract, or to buy its products……"

Cato Institute 11/8/99 Robert Levy "…. Here's the lesson that high-tech companies can glean from Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's findings in the Microsoft case: If you're sufficiently ambitious, competent, and hard-working; if you're willing to risk your time and fortune; if you succeed at rising above your competition by serving customers with better products; then watch out, because our government will come down on your neck with the force and effect of a guillotine. Jackson's knee-jerk recitation of the Justice Department's line is a mockery of objectivity, scornful of the facts, and congenial only to those who prefer a sterile marketplace in which vigorous competition becomes legally actionable….."

Denver Rocky Mountain News 11/8/99 Manny Gonzales "…. Some pawnshops and stores in Colorado are taking a second look at selling handguns because of delays in background checks and the public backlash against gun violence. State police have been effective in screening gun buyers since they took over criminal background checks from the FBI. But the new system has sellers complaining of added delays. Some pawnshop dealers in the Denver area said they may stop dealing in guns because it's not cost-effective. Also, there's the negative image after the Columbine High School shootings. "It's going to put dealers out of business quickly, and not just pawnshops but the standard dealer as well," said Dudley Brown, a pro-gun lobbyist for Rocky Mountain Gunowners. …."

Washington Post 11/14/99 Mary McGrory "….The best description of the long-running feud between Reps. John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Jim McDermott (D-Wash.)--not to mention the rancorous Congress that generated it--came from U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan in July 1998, when he sided with McDermott: "This case arises out of the unfortunate acrimony, absence of civility and shortage of honor that pervades the partisan sniping between some members of Congress and their supporters." Hogan ruled that McDermott was shielded by the First Amendment when, in January 1997, he allegedly leaked a tape revealing that Newt Gingrich, then the House speaker, was plotting to undercut ..."

AP 11/12/99 Laurie Asseo ".....Interest groups' involvement in the judicial nominating process is a greater threat to judicial independence than criticism of judges' rulings and even threats to impeach them, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said Friday night. The justice also renewed his criticism of the nation's largest lawyer's organization, saying the American Bar Association has undermined its role in the judicial nominating process by taking stands on controversial political issues....... ``The bitterness and enmity surrounding judicial nominations to the federal bench have proven to be one of the principle modern threats to judicial independence,'' the justice said. ``Interest groups have turned the judicial appointment process into merely another theater of operations for their unending battles, if not theater of the absurd.'' ....."

The Nation 11/30/99 Sheila Kaplan Zoe Davidson "…..The campaign fundraising scandal has drawn new attention to the way moneyed interests buy political favors in Washington. But far from the nation's capital, many of these same donors operate unchecked in a venue that may prove more disturbing than the Lincoln Bedroom: the state courts. In the thirty-nine states that elect judges at some level, the cost of judicial races is rising at least as fast as that of either Congressional races or presidential campaigns, as candidates for the bench pay for sophisticated ads, polls and consultants. A recent study by the California Commission on the Courts found that the cost of the average superior court race in the Los Angeles area more than doubled every year, increasing twenty-two-fold from 1976 to 1994. In Washington State, winners in 1980 spent between $30,000 and $50,000; by 1995 winners spent at least $150,000. In North Carolina, the American Judicature Society reported that the biggest spender for the Supreme Court in 1988 paid $90,330; by 1994 it was $241,709. Fueling these campaigns is an influx of money from the tobacco industry, casinos, insurance companies, doctors and businesses. Upping the ante are defense lawyers and trial lawyers, along with unions and, recently, the religious right (in fact, John Dowless, executive director of the Christian Coalition of Florida, considers judicial elections "the next hot-button issue" for his group). It adds up to a system of justice in which judges are compromised by the time they take the bench--and those who are perceived as unsympathetic to whichever interest group has the most money that year often end up simply kicked out of office….."

The Wall Street Journal. 11/26/99 "….. We've written frequently about the bully boy tactics of Philadelphia Teamsters, who saw two of their members convicted on assault charges for beating up people at an anti-Clinton rally. Now John Morris, the Philadelphia Teamsters chief who directed the beatings, has been ousted from power after a raid revealed he had used union funds to buy two shotguns, 20 stun guns, a cache of pepper spray and boxes of combat fatigues and other military uniforms. Thus a reign that began when Mr. Morris took over the Philadelphia Teamsters in 1955 ended abruptly a week ago Monday, when officers from his own national headquarters raided his offices at 5:30 a.m. Immediately they changed the locks. They then discovered Mr. Morris had put together a bizarre arsenal, which he had supplemented with five buses and five tractors--all purchased with $700,000 in union funds……"

The Wall Street Journal. 11/26/99 "….. Local prosecutors, moreover, give new meaning to the term Philadelphia lawyer. Their original answer to the Teamster beatings at the anti-Clinton rally was to press assault charges against Don Adams, one of the protesters who was beaten up; Mr. Adams ultimately was cleared by a jury. The two Teamsters convicted of attacking Mr. Adams were given probation, even though one had been previously been found guilty of assault. As Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell openly admitted to us last month, the city's elected judges often toe the union line…"

CITIZEN Magazine 11/99 Thoams Jipping "…..How the weakest branch became a most profound legacy is the story of how judges-no longer willing merely to interpret laws, but determined to rewrite them according to their liberal political views-have threatened traditional values…….Judicial power is currently growing almost unchecked, in part because ignorance of the Constitution and the principles of American government are at an all-time high. The National Constitution Center (NCC) recently reported that one-third of Americans cannot name a single branch of the federal government and 41 percent don't know the number of branches. Nearly one-quarter of Americans cannot identify a single right guaranteed by the First Amendment and 80 percent do not know the number of amendments to the Constitution……"

 

12/10/99 James Gordon Meek/APBnews.com "….The 15-member financial disclosure committee for the federal bench met here today but adjourned without announcing whether it would comply with a request from APBnews.com to release financial information of 1,600 federal judges. The panel met for over four hours to discuss the ramifications of an Ethics in Government Act request for 12,580 pages of financial disclosure documents from 1998 that would be scanned and placed in a searchable database accessible on the Internet……. At 2:15 p.m. today, Zloch, chairman of the Judicial Conference Committee on Financial Disclosure, and other members emerged from the meeting tight-lipped as they strolled across the street from the Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building to the restaurant America in Union Station. Asked if the group had reached a decision, Zloch told APBnews.com, "I'm not going to comment, thanks."…… The committee will make an announcement soon, federal courts spokeswoman Karen Redmond said…… Today's meeting was closed to the public and security officers barred a reporter from entering the south wing of the Marshall Building, where the conference was convened. An APBnews.com reporter was instructed to wait in the enormous glass atrium separating the two halves of the office complex. Three hours later, a security supervisor informed the reporter that he was "loitering" and would have to leave the premises. …. When APBnews.com agreed to leave the building but stand on the edge of the property line -- in the street -- the security supervisor said Capitol Police officers "could be summoned" to remove the reporter. Calls to property manager Mark Williams were not returned by late today……"

Washington Times 12/8/99 John McCaslin ".... Chief U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson, immersed in controversy since presiding over the Clinton-Lewinsky grand jury, has been presented the Judicial Excellence Award at the 128th annual banquet of the D.C. Bar Association. For the judge, the award couldn't come at a better time. In a unanimous 3-0 vote in mid-September, a federal appeals court panel overturned Judge Johnson's ruling ordering independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr to face criminal contempt proceedings for reported leaks of grand jury information in the Monica Lewinsky probe. After President Clinton walked away a free, but impeached, man, Judge Johnson appointed the Justice Department to prosecute Mr. Starr and his office on the contempt charge. Weeks earlier, departing from the court's traditional random case-assignment process, Judge Johnson came under fire for selectively assigning criminal cases against presidential pals Charles Yah Lin Trie and Webster L. Hubbell to judges Mr. Clinton appointed. ...."

Associated Press 12/7/99 Richard Carelli "…..In an unprecedented move, a U.S. District Court judge in Florida has cut off public access nationwide to the financial disclosure reports all federal judges are required to file each year. The moratorium was ordered by Judge William J. Zloch in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., out of concern that posting the reports on the Internet would mean ``universal and anonymous access, raising security issues,'' federal courts spokeswoman Karen Redmond said Tuesday……. The Administrative Office of U.S. Courts routinely has made copies of reports available, for a fee, to anyone who requests them after requesters identify themselves and disclose their occupation. Zloch's action came after a news organization, APBnews.com, requested the 1998 financial disclosure reports of some 1,600 active and semiretired federal judges and magistrates as part of a project that would make all of them available on the Internet. …."

WorldNetDaily 12/7/99 Larry Klayman "…..When was the last time that you heard of a federal judge getting in trouble for allegedly taking bribes, banning a lawyer from his courtroom for expressing his opinion or asking a question, sitting on a case for years as the plaintiff goes under financially, or for that matter making one bad decision after another? The answer is almost never. Federal judges, like lawyers, generally protect themselves. Indeed, federal judges -- who are appointed by the president for life, through a system of political patronage -- have rigged the system; complaints of misconduct are investigated by their peers. So it was when Associated Press and The Washington Times recently reported that Chief Judge Norma Holloway Johnson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia had bypassed the random "wheel of fortune" assignment system to send two Chinagate-related criminal cases to recently appointed Clinton judicial appointees (who then dismissed the charges) and that eight Clinton-appointed judges, calling themselves the "Magnificent Eight," were holding secret meetings, that Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, felt duty-bound to file a complaint against the nine allegedly offending judges before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the body which oversees lower court judges. ….."

WorldNetDaily 12/7/99 Larry Klayman "…..The information upon which Judicial Watch bases its request for an investigation has been reported publicly by a number of media outlets. Given the hard fact that several district court judges appear themselves to be the sources for this information, Judicial Watch's request for an investigation should respectfully be acted upon sua sponte (i.e., on the Court's own initiative)……. In response to the complaint, Mr. Fitton then heard from Acting Chief Judge Stephen Williams, of the D.C. Circuit, a Republican, who asked for greater specificity…… In a decision released publicly last Friday, Judge Williams, in dismissing Judicial Watch's complaint -- and branding the reported allegations of the Associated Press and The Washington Times frivolous -- effectively admitted to not conducting an investigation at all. Relying only on letters of Judge Johnson denying the allegations, and surmising, without any factual investigation, that the "Magnificent Eight" had not discussed ongoing cases against the Clinton administration in their secret meetings, he wrote, The complaint of misconduct is "wholly unsupported" and is dismissed as frivolous pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 372 (c)(3). Specifically, with regard to the allegation that Judge Johnson had bypassed the random assignment system, Judge Williams held: ... [t]he alleged impropriety is incapable of being established through investigation. As for the secret meetings of the "Magnificent Eight," he concluded, also without investigation, that judges would not act on their political affiliations: ...it is inappropriate to impose on the court the burdens of an investigation….."

AP - Yahoo 12/15/99 Laurie Asseo "....A federal judicial committee's refusal to release financial records of about 1,600 federal judges and magistrates to a news organization that wants to put them on the Internet has been criticized by open-records advocates..... ``Federal judges have unique security concerns,'' said David Sellers, spokesman for the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts. ``That's why last year Congress provided the Judicial Conference with special authority regarding the release of their financial disclosure reports. Any action that threatens, compromises or negates this authority must be taken very seriously.'' .....``This may be the first time that the government has declared the Internet off-limits for specific kinds of public documents,'' said Sauter of APBnews.com, which had paid $2,516 to copy 12,580 pages of documents. ``These documents contain information that Congress has declared the public has the right and need to know.'' ....... Sauter said other news organizations, such as WNBC and The Kansas City Star, already have some judges' financial disclosure reports online. ``Does this decision mean that those organizations are violating the law?'' he asked. ...."

CNSNEWS.com 12/15/99 Thomas Jipping "….The Supreme Court has accepted a case that may produce one of its most important decisions in decades. Beneath the facts and particulars of Dickerson v. United States lies the fundamental issue whether the Supreme Court and the Constitution are one and the same. Only a negative answer is consistent with the freedom to govern themselves Americans have enjoyed. ….. Miranda amounted to judicial regulations issued in the name of the Constitution, much like executive branch agencies issue regulations in the name of congressional statutes. But just as regulations can exceed their statutory mandate and actually make new law, so Miranda went beyond the Constitution. Congress responded in 1968 by enacting a statute restoring the pre-Miranda rule excluding coerced statements and confessions. It also provides criteria for judges to use in determining coercion; significantly, these criteria include whether the Miranda warnings were read by police. The specific question now before the court in Dickerson is whether Miranda or this statute govern the admissibility of statements. The general question is whether the Supreme Court and the Constitution are one and the same, that is, whether the court's words about the Constitution are the same as the Constitution itself….."

AP 12/15/99 "….A woman convicted of first-degree murder in 1976 had her conviction overturned by a federal judge who said a spectator should not have been dismissed from the courtroom. The dismissal of the spectator violated Kathleen A. Braun's constitutional right to a public trial, U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman said. ``It is not easy to vacate a 23-year-old homicide conviction because the trial court unjustifiably excluded one member of the public,'' Adelman wrote in his opinion, issued Tuesday. ``However, the right vindicated by this decision is an important one. The public trial ... is a critical feature of our criminal justice system.'' The man who was dismissed was a taxi driver who had been among the prospective jurors and had said he was friends with Braun's lawyer. …."

NY POST 12/14/99 Steve Dunleavy "….If had heard the word "justice" one more time yesterday, I think I would've thrown up. Justice -- God's idea and man's ideal -- crashed and burned in Brooklyn federal court. Justice cannot be mouthed by robes and pinstripes. Not when Chuck Schwarz sees only the inside of a cell. "Why won't the prosecution give Justin Volpe a lie-detector test?" Volpe's lawyer, Marvyn Kornberg, asked. "I'll tell you why. They are scared of what Volpe will tell them. They are scared of what they're going to hear. "And that is they have put an innocent man in jail in Chuck Schwarz. It's like that line out of 'A Few Good Men.' They can't handle the truth." Kornberg has been blitzed for his defense of Volpe by suggesting Abner Louima's horrific injuries might have come from a homosexual encounter. Yesterday, he apologized to Louima in front of Judge Eugene Nickerson, insisting he knew nothing of Volpe's role until just before his client's bombshell confession. Any lawyer will tell you any client -- no matter the crime -- deserves the best defense available. "As soon as I knew the facts, I went straight to the prosecution," Kornberg said. "They blew me off. They said they had the evidence. "I went immediately to Schwarz's attorney, Steven Worth. I didn't want to see an innocent guy in jail. For some inexplicable reason, Worth did not call Volpe to the stand. I can't understand it." …..Volpe yesterday told Nickerson that Officer Thomas Wiese -- not Chuck Schwarz -- was in the bathroom in the 70th Precinct station house on the night of the terrible assault on Louima. ….."

Washington Post 12/15/99 Joe Stephens "…. A committee of federal judges has permanently barred an Internet news organization from receiving public documents that list judges' investments, a move attacked as "an offense" by a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In a statement released yesterday, the U.S. Judicial Conference disclosure committee said permitting the Internet company APBnews.com to collect the statements and post them on the Web could endanger federal judges. The judicial conference, made up of judges from around the country, sets policy for the federal judiciary….. The committee said by posting the reports on the Web, the news organization would violate a requirement that they supply a list of everyone on whose behalf the copies had been requested. The committee also said Internet publication would circumvent a law that allows the judiciary to black out "personal and sensitive information" on the reports if it could endanger a judge. ….."

Washington Post 12/15/99 Joe Stephens "…. Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), a member of the Judiciary Committee, said he was disappointed. "The unilateral decision of the conference to block Internet access to all information is an offense to the openness that helps define our system of government," Grassley said in a statement. "The public has a right to be informed about potential conflicts of interest for judges, just as it does for members of Congress and the administration." …..."

The Kansas City Star 4/5/98 Joe Stephens "…. A court reporter, hired to transcribe statements from witnesses, told lawyers in a 1994 lawsuit that she felt compelled to make a disclosure: Her husband worked for the company at the center of the dispute, the Sprint Corp. The announcement sent attorneys scrambling to hire a new court reporter. The lawyers had no idea that the judge presiding over the $1.9 million lawsuit against a Sprint subsidiary had her own ties to the company. U.S. District Judge Kathryn H. Vratil owned stock in Sprint. Vratil issued an order in the case on Jan. 5, 1995, setting filing deadlines and a trial date. The very next day, records show, she invested up to $15,000 in Sprint. Six months later, Vratil bought another block of Sprint stock worth up to $15,000. Unlike the court reporter, however, the judge did not reveal her ties to Sprint. They remained unknown throughout the jury trial -- and for another two years. Dana DeSuza, the former Sprint worker who filed the lawsuit in Kansas City, Kan., lost that trial. Along the way, Vratil granted Sprint's request that she throw out part of the claim. Today, DeSuza is bitter. "I hate everybody who had anything to do with this case," she said. …."

 

St. Louis Post-Dispatch 12/27/99 William Freivogel "….A century ago, the U.S. Supreme Court had never declared a law unconstitutional for violating the Bill of Rights. Now it throws out several laws a year. Equal protection meant segregation for blacks and disenfranchisement for women. Now it protects everyone -- black and white, male and female -- from discrimination. Liberty meant the freedom of corporations to contract with workers, unimpeded by the bothersome constraints of worker protection laws. Now liberty protects intimate personal decisions of everyday life. The Bill of Rights did not even apply to the states a century ago. Now the states have to respect almost every one of those guarantees of personal freedom……Power shifted from the states to Washington as the regulatory state came of age. The careful architecture of federalism tilted toward national power. … Mandatory school prayer and flag salutes came to an end in public schools….. The personal privacy of Americans to marry and live with whomever they pleased and to decide whether to have a child, all won protection…….. "

St. Louis Post-Dispatch 12/27/99 William Freivogel "….These landmark opinions prompted the intellectual rebuttal that this was an activist court that was making law, not interpreting it. And they led to a political counterrevolution, from the "Impeach Earl Warren" billboards to the elections of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, who chose judges to turn things around. THE momentum of change did not stop immediately. The monumental abortion decision, which transformed women's lives and national politics, came after Warren. So did decisions upholding affirmative action and broadening the reach of the First Amendment….. But, gradually, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist has turned the ship of law. The chief justice and Justice Antonin Scalia, have blocked exercises of federal power that would have been unchallenged two decades ago, such as the law banning guns in schools….."

The Washington Times 1/8/00 Kristan Trugman and Arlo Wagner "…. Child advocates and law enforcement officials can't decide what is worse: a Montgomery County, Md., judge's lenient sentence Tuesday of a convicted sex offender or his comments that the 11-year-old girl involved was partly to blame for the crime. "It's pathetic. She's a child," said a veteran sex-crimes detective who asked not to be identified. "It's common sense. A child can't consent. The reason they have those laws on the books is because they are not old enough or mature enough to make those decisions." ….."

The Washington Times 12/28/99 Michelle Malkin "…..This is a crucial First Amendment case that pits the Beltway Star Chamber against cutting-edge on-line journalists…… In September, APBNews filed a freedom of information request seeking access to the 1998 financial disclosure forms of every federal judge and magistrate in the nation - 1,600 in all….. Perhaps no other institution in Washington is as ripe for media scrutiny as the federal judiciary. Its members are appointed for life and its administrative operations are shrouded in secrecy. A few mainstream news outlets have published the financial records of federal judges in their regions. But APBNews' plan to post the entire federal judiciary's financial filings on the Internet - 13,000 pages on a searchable database - is the most ambitious to date. Anyone, anywhere, anytime, could find out whether a federal judge had a financial conflict of interest in a given case….. That threat has the federal bench's black robes in a bunch. The U.S. Judicial Conference on Financial Disclosure last week permanently barred APBNews from receiving the financial disclosure forms. APBNews plans to file suit…..The federal panel's refusal to make financial documents as accessible as possible has less to do with protecting physical security than with preserving political comfort. These judges have controlled damage to their reputations by practicing trickle-down public disclosure unchallenged for decades. But with boundless space and once-unthinkable speed, new media outlets such as APBNews can expose the workings of government in a way that old journalism could achieve only in its dreams….."

The New York Observer 1/10/00 "….New Yorkers who miss the days when Times Square was a pornographer's paradise of X-rated peep shows, drug dealers and prostitutes have a friend up in Albany. Seven friends, to be exact, the seven judges who sit on the state's Court of Appeals, who have ruled that the administration of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani had been too aggressive in enforcing the city law against X-rated businesses, specifically a pornographic video store on the Upper West Side. The pornographers also owe a big thank you to Norman Siegel, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, and his so-called "civil libertarian" colleagues, who have been defending the rights of porn peddlers over the rights of average New Yorkers. It's hard to choose which group is more obscene, the pornographers who seek to return the city to the dark ages of the 1970's, or Mr. Siegel and his dimwit pals, who itch to file lawsuits on their behalf. The ruling is a setback for the city, especially at a time when lower crime rates, a strong economy and social optimism have opened New York's shores anew to the international community. The simple truth is that New Yorkers have a right to live without pornography in their backyards and along the streets where their children walk to school….."

 

Washington Post 1/11/00 Lorraine Adams and David A. Vise "…..Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.), who heads the Judiciary Committee's panel on courts and intellectual property, renewed his August complaint [about Judge Johnson] and added information about three other cases in a letter yesterday to the U.S. Court of Appeals…… According to court administrative records, in 1998 Johnson bypassed the random process in six of the 405 cases. Five of the six were the criminal cases of four Democratic fund-raisers--Charlie Trie, Pauline Kanchanalak, Mark Jiminez and Howard Glicken--and former associate attorney general Hubbell. The sixth 1998 case was a D.C. government corruption case…. Coble's previous request was rebuffed by U.S. District Judge Stephen Williams. In a Nov. 17 opinion, he deemed Coble's complaint "frivolous," saying that it was not surprising that Johnson chose Clinton appointees since only four of the 12 judges on the circuit weren't Clinton appointees….."

AP 1/10/00 "….The chief district judge in Washington directed five prosecutions of Democratic fund-raisers to judges appointed by President Clinton, bypassing the normal system for randomly assigning cases, records show. Clinton confidant Vernon Jordan interceded in one case, asking the sentencing judge to be lenient with the defendant, prominent Miami businessman Howard Glicken, who has been a fund-raiser for Vice President Gore. Glicken was sentenced to community service work and probation for two misdemeanors. Rep. Howard Coble, chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee on courts and intellectual property, on Monday disclosed the assignment of the cases of Glicken and another Miami fund-raiser, Mark Jimenez, now a fugitive in the Justice Department's campaign fund-raising probe…… Days before Glicken's sentencing, Jordan wrote U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy, a 1997 Clinton appointee, that ``despite his admission of wrongdoing, I am confident I can state without hesitation that this conduct is not the type of conduct that characterizes Howard Glicken.'' ``Mr. Glicken ... has been a member of and active participant in the Democratic party,'' Jordan added. ``I write this letter to ask for leniency.'' Glicken pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors July 20 in a deal with the Justice Department's campaign finance task force. Kennedy fined him $80,000, put him on 18 months probation and ordered him to do 500 hours of community service. A court rule permits Johnson to specially assign cases that are ``protracted.'' ``No rationalization can possibly justify the direct assignment of the Glicken case,'' Coble wrote. ``There was nothing complicated or protracted about this case. In fact, his attorney publicly announced ... the day he was charged with soliciting a $20,000 foreign contribution ... that Mr. Glicken would plead guilty.'' ….. Jimenez, of Miami, fled the country last year after being accused of making illegal contributions to Clinton, Sen. Robert Torricelli of New Jersey and other Democratic candidates. Two weeks after the Jimenez case was assigned to Sullivan, it was moved to Judge Paul Friedman, who also handled the campaign finance cases of Trie, Kanchanalak and Hsia. Friedman and Sullivan are Clinton appointees….."

Washington Times 1/11/00 Jerry Seper "….A Republican congressman yesterday asked a federal appeals court to investigate rare case assignments made by the chief judge of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C….. "Did Chief Judge Johnson abuse her discretion under the rule and should she have allowed the normal random case assignment to occur?" he said in a seven-page letter to Mark Langer, clerk of the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.   The inquiry focuses on cases involving Mr. Hubbell, former associate attorney general; Arkansas businessman Charles Yah Lin Trie; Democratic fund-raiser Howard Glicken; Thai lobbyist Pauline Kanchanalak; and Miami fund-raiser Mark B. Jimenez.   The judges are Paul L. Friedman, James Robertson and Emmet G. Sullivan, all of whom were named to the bench by Mr. Clinton in 1994; and Henry H. Kennedy Jr., appointed by Mr. Clinton in 1997.  Judge Johnson has declined to talk to the media……. "The Judicial Council . . . did not attempt to determine whether there was an abuse of discretion," he said. "Rather, the Judicial Council simply accepted Judge Johnson's justification in support of her action and concluded that in the circumstances presented, a purely conclusionary allegation . . . is not enough to justify a search for [evidence of misconduct].  "How much evidence would be enough to justify an investigation?" he asked. ….. Mr. Coble also said "no rationalization can possibly justify" the assignment of the Glicken case to Judge Kennedy, adding there was "nothing complicated or protracted about this case" and Glicken's attorney announced on the day he was charged he would plead guilty. …….  With regard to the assignment of the Jimenez case, Mr. Coble said it was assigned by Judge Johnson to Judge Sullivan at his request, although it was later reassigned to Judge Friedman. Mr. Coble questioned how Judge Sullivan was able to request the case — and get it —and why was it transferred to Judge Friedman after he claimed it was related to the Trie case.  "How is the Jimenez case related to the Trie case," Mr. Coble asked, noting there was no provision for transferring the case under District Court rules…."

Miami Herald Online 1/21/2000 Jay Weaver Alfonso Chardy "….. Facing the sunshine-like glare of the Elian Gonzalez dispute, Senior U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King asked attorneys Thursday whether they want him to remove himself from the case either because of his indirect ties to people involved in the dispute or his busy schedule. The lawyers for Elian's Miami relatives said they don't want him to step aside. But U.S. Attorney Thomas Scott said he needed to consult with Attorney General Janet Reno and Justice Department lawyers before giving an answer. King is expected to decide today whether to step down. The judge formally disclosed Thursday that his son Larry, a Miami-Dade County judge, hired a political consultant for his election campaign who is organizing the local effort to stop Elian's return to his father in Cuba. …."

Associated Press 1/21/2000 Glenn Johnson "….The Supreme Court ruling allowing abortion ``usurped the rights of the legislatures'' in America, Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush said today, as he sought a politically safe way to couch his anti-abortion views. Bush was asked in a brief exchange with reporters to clarify his statement Thursday that the Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973 ``was a stretch.'' ``I felt like it was a case where the court took the place of what the legislatures should do in America.'' Asked what he thought the state legislatures should do, he said, ``It should be up to each legislature.'' …"

Medium Rare articles 1/22/2000 Jim Rarey "…. The original premise of this article was to document, from the views expressed by the founding fathers, that treaties cannot override the constitution under original intent. It has been a firmly held conviction by this writer that courts have erred in the instances where provisions of treaties have been given precedence over the constitution. To buttress this belief, all discussions of treaties in the Federalist Papers, Anti-Federalist Papers and Constitutional Convention debates were analyzed. Much to the dismay and consternation of this author, the evidence shows that our founders recognized that treaties could (theoretically) override the constitution, but advanced various rationales as to why that would never happen…."

Los Angeles Times 1/21/2000 David Rosenzweig "….A convicted killer who has been on San Quentin's death row for the past 21 years had his sentence set aside Thursday when a Los Angeles federal judge ruled that the jury foreman in his trial committed misconduct by reciting biblical passages about capital punishment during penalty deliberations. Among the passages imparted to the jury in Stevie Lamar Fields' 1979 trial were: "Who so sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed," "Eye for eye, tooth for tooth," and "He that killeth any man, shall surely be put to death." The jury was deadlocked 7 to 5 at the time in favor of life without the possibility of parole. After hearing from the foreman, the panel voted unanimously to send Fields to the gas chamber. U.S. District Judge Dickran Tevrizian gave the state 60 days to agree to a new penalty trial or Fields' sentence for the 1978 robbery and murder of USC student librarian Rosemary Janet Cobb will automatically be downgraded to life in prison without the possibility of parole. …."

New York Post 1/23/2000 George Wil "…. TO visit a crime scene, turn on your computer. Log on to a list of "bulletin boards" or real-time chat rooms, which come and go rapidly….. The Internet, like the telephone and automobile before it, has created new possibilities for crime. Some people wielding computers for criminal purposes are being combated by FBI agents working out of an office park here a few miles outside Washington's Beltway. The FBI operation, named Innocent Images, targets cyber-stalkers seeking sex with children, and traffickers in child pornography. As one agent here says, "Business is good -- unfortunately." Criminal sexual activity on the Internet is a growth industry….. A child does not know if the person with whom he or she is chatting is another child or a much older person with sinister intentions. The typical person that the agents call a "traveler" -- someone who will cross state lines hoping to have a sexual encounter with a child -- is a white male age 25-45. He has above-average education -- often an advanced degree, and he can find his way around the Internet -- and above-average income, enabling him to travel. Many "travelers" are married…... Since the first arrest under Innocent Images in 1995, there have been 487 arrests of "travelers" and pornographers, and 409 convictions. Most of the 78 nonconvictions are in cases still pending. The conviction rate is above 95 percent. However, the FBI is distressed by light sentences from some judges who justify their leniency by the fact that the offenders are socially upscale and first-offenders….."

AP News 1/21/2000 "….A federal judge dismissed a child pornography charge against a former Disney Internet executive Friday, ruling jurors may have relied on a law ruled unconstitutional the day after his conviction. Patrick J. Naughton of Seattle, a former executive with the Disney Go Network, still faces a March 21 retrial on two previously dismissed charges: seeking sex with a minor over the Internet and interstate travel to have sex with a minor. The jury was unable to reach a verdicts on those charges……"

WASHINGTON POST 1/19/2000 Sari Horwitz "…. The District agency charged with protecting neglected children had concluded that Brianna Blackmond should not be returned to her biological mother, but a D.C. judge did not see the agency's report before ordering that the toddler be sent back to the mother's home--where the girl later was killed by a blow to the head…… a letter obtained by The Washington Post indicates that three weeks before Queen's order, a social services worker tried to warn the judge about the risks of returning the two other siblings to Blackmond's home. The foster parents did not return the siblings to Blackmond before Brianna was fatally injured last week because the children were sick….."

World Net Daily 1/20/2000 Jon Dougherty "….The Department of Justice has admitted that it used false testimony and evidence in a 1983 trial to convict an ex-CIA operative of exporting weapons to Libya despite an arms embargo. Edwin Wilson was convicted 17 years ago of exporting explosives to the North African nation, partly on the basis of the affidavit of CIA executive director Charles Briggs. During his trial, Wilson claimed that nearly 20 tons of C4 plastic explosives he shipped from Houston's Bush/International Airport to Libya was done at the behest of the CIA. Briggs, however, testified at the trial that "Wilson was not asked or requested, directly or indirectly, to perform or provide any services, directly or indirectly, for the CIA," after he retired in 1971. But in pleadings filed in U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes' court, the Justice Department has now admitted that prosecutor Ted Greenberg had supplied "evidence about Wilson that he knew was false."……. Defense lawyer David Adler told the Houston Chronicle that the Justice Department's admission "implicates seven attorneys in the plot to lie, withhold evidence or participate in the cover-up." The report also said that three of the seven later went on to become federal judges, one became an independent counsel, and "the three others now hold high positions within the department." ….."

Christian Science Monitor 1/20/2000 Warren Richey "…. The 2000 presidential election is emerging as a potential watershed event that may redraw the composition of the US Supreme Court and set a national agenda that will influence Americans for generations to come. It will involve political, ideological, and legal battles over the full range of hot-button issues, including abortion, school prayer, affirmative action, school vouchers, and the federal-state power balance. Estimates by both Democratic and Republican candidates are that two to five justices may step down in the next four years...."

New York Post 1/11/2000 Marilyn Rauber "….Records show a top federal judge assigned only Clinton-appointed judges to hear cases against Democratic fund-raisers -- one of whom got leniency after presidential pal Vernon Jordan intervened. Miami businessman and Al Gore fund-raiser Howard Glicken got probation and community service after Jordan wrote the judge on the case that Glicken was an "active participant in the Democratic Party."…… Johnson, a Democrat appointed by Jimmy Carter, already was accused of playing assignment favorites in the cases of Clinton buddy Webster Hubbell when he faced tax charges stemming from Whitewater, and three funny-money scandal figures, including Charlie Trie. Johnson claimed she was simply trying to expedite the court's caseload……"

 

The Wall Street Journal 1/31/2000 Terry Eastland "……Ronald Reagan named 375 lower-court judges during his two terms, George Bush 187 during his single term, and Bill Clinton has appointed 331 federal judges to date. The math works out to a per-year average of 47 appointments; that's about one a week. Assuming no change in this rate, the next president will choose between 150 and 200 lower-court judges. Most of these will be district judges. …… Of the 153 judges now sitting on the appeals courts, 83 were named by Republican presidents and 70 by Democrats, including 54 by Mr. Clinton. There are 26 vacancies. Republican appointees have a numerical edge in nine circuits, Democratic appointees in three, and in the remaining circuit there is an equal number of both. Not all of the Republican appointees, however, merit description as judicial conservatives. And it is the rare Democratic appointee who routinely votes with his conservative colleagues. Conservatives have working majorities in five circuits--the Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, D.C., and Federal (which handles appeals from specialized courts, such as the one for international trade)….."

Cato Institute 1/25/2000 Timothy Lynch "….Fearful that more and more citizens are becoming aware of the doctrine of jury nullification, judges have started policing jury trials with greater assertiveness than in years past. This year, the California Supreme Court will decide whether a trial court violated a defendant's right to trial by jury by dismissing a deliberating juror because that juror did not intend to follow the law on a particular charge. The case, People v. Williams, raises the question of how far a trial judge can go before a jury verdict is deemed to be coerced by the bench……. A proper legal analysis of a trial judge's authority in such circumstances should begin with first principles. The Sixth Amendment provides, "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury. . . ." The very existence of that amendment tells us something important. As Justice Antonin Scalia has pointedly observed, "The Constitution does not trust judges to make determinations of criminal guilt." That truth is so humbling for the men and women in robes that it is difficult for many of them to fully accept. And it is precisely because of that bias that we must jealously protect the constitutional right to trial by jury from possible usurpation by judges……"

New York Post 1/25/2000 "….Last summer, it was learned U.S. District Court Judge Norma Holloway of Washington, D.C. had assigned two criminal cases to judges friendly to the president: a tax trial involving Webb Hubbell and one relating to the fundraising exploits of Charlie Trie…… Earlier this month, a House Judiciary subcommittee investigation turned up information that Johnson's case assignments were not isolated incidents. Panel chairman Howard Coble (R-N.C.) again accused Johnson of "bypassing" the usual computer system. It turned out that whenever a politically sensitive one that was "potentially embarrassing" to the president came across the dock, Johnson "steered" it toward a friendly Clinton-appointed judge. In 1998, Johnson -- a Jimmy Carter appointee -- bypassed the random process in six of 405 cases. However, five of those six were the criminal cases of four Democratic fundraisers -- Trie, Pauline Kanchanalak, Mark Jiminez and Howard Glicken, in addition to Hubbell……"

http://www.nando.net/24hour/sacbee/politics/story/0,1741,500162380-500204673-500928816-0,00.html 2/2/2000 AP "....A misconduct complaint against former Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr could have a new presiding judge by the end of the week. The office of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis confirmed Tuesday that a replacement is being sought for a Nebraska judge who disqualified himself from the case Monday. U.S. District Judge Warren K. Urbom of Lincoln, Neb., said he took the unusual step, barely two weeks after his appointment because his "impartiality might reasonably be questioned." He did not elaborate. ..... Lawrence Raful, professor of judicial ethics at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., said he was puzzled by the self-disqualification of a judge he described as "first-rate and above reproach." "I was very disappointed," said Raful, who first met Urbom in 1988. "He is as outstanding a judge intellectually and has as much integrity as any judge I have ever met." ..... U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright of Little Rock had asked the 8th Circuit to appoint a judge to the case because all the judges in Arkansas's Eastern District - based in Little Rock - have declined to handle it. ...."

AP 2/3/2000 John Adams "....Addressing a growing controversy, federal judges in the nation's capital killed a rule that enabled the chief judge to send prosecutions against friends and supporters of President Clinton to his judicial appointees. Officials at the courthouse say the judges revoked the rule on Tuesday, six months after The Associated Press disclosed that Chief Judge Norma Holloway Johnson bypassed the system of randomly assigning cases in some politically sensitive prosecutions. The judges had begun a review of the rule last April before the controversy erupted. In 1998, Johnson directed a total of five Democratic fund-raising prosecutions to Clinton-appointed judges, plus a tax evasion case against long-time Clinton friend Webster Hubbell. ...... The chief judge has never said why she bypassed the random assignment system in Glicken's case. Court records show presidential friend Vernon Jordan intervened in the case, asking the sentencing judge to be lenient. Glicken was given community service work and probation. Coble is seeking a judicial inquiry of Johnson's actions....."

 

The Hill 1/26/2000 Allison Stevens "…. The Republican threat to block all judicial nominations until after the next president takes office gained new ground Tuesday after Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) announced the support of three additional senators to his group of 16. Sens. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and John Ashcroft (R-Mo.) joined Inhofe's group, vowing to hobble President Clinton's last term. "I know that chaos will set in," Inhofe told The Hill. "But I will keep my word," he said, adding that Clinton is to blame because he violated an agreement with Republican senators by appointing federal employees without prior approval during the congressional recess. Inhofe said Lott has not hinted at his support, but he will speak to more senators this week as the Senate returns to Washington. He said he sees no reason why all Republicans wouldn't agree with him. ……"

FOX News 1/31/2000 AP "….Gov. George Ryan announced a moratorium on executions Monday, saying he wants to know why more Illinois death sentences have been overturned than carried out. "There is no margin for error when it comes to putting a person to death," Ryan said at a news conference in which he called for a special panel to study the state's capital punishment system. "Until I can be sure that everyone sentenced to death in Illinois is truly guilty ... no one will meet that fate." Ryan said the panel will study Illinois' entire capital punishment system and focus on why the cases of 13 death row inmates were overturned. ….. The governor reiterated that he still believes in the death penalty but said a moratorium was needed until questions about the system are answered. He did not set any deadlines for the investigation….."

 

The Wall Street Journal 2/4/00 "…..A few days ago, the Associated Press's Pete Yost reported on one of the lingering ghosts of the Clinton scandals: "Addressing a growing controversy, federal judges in the nation's capital killed a rule that enabled the chief judge to send prosecutions against friends and supporters of President Clinton to his judicial appointees." In the normally well-cloaked world of judicial procedure, this is a very big deal. As far as we can make out from a large data-base search, the AP story was picked up by next to no major news outlets. …… The matters newly revealed last month include the assignment of the case of Mark Jimenez, a fugitive from the Justice Department's campaign-finance probe, to Judge Friedman (who, it should be noted, drove the internal review that had resulted in abolishing the discretionary assignment rule). And hearings regarding Miami businessman and Democratic fund-raiser Howard Glicken were assigned to Judge Henry Kennedy, a 1997 Clinton appointee…….. "

Judicial Watch 2/9/00 "…..The Judicial Council of the District of Columbia Circuit ordered yesterday that a federal appeals court judge reconsider Judicial Watch's judicial complaint, based on press reports and congressional inquiries, asking for an investigation of allegations that Chief Judge Norma Holloway Johnson had improperly bypassed the random assignment process when she directly assigned cases concerning President Clinton to recent Clinton appointees. Judicial Watch's complaint, which also asked for a probe of secret monthly meetings by Clinton appointees in the DC Circuit, was first filed in August, 1999.... The Judicial Watch Council for the District of Columbia Circuit, which is made up of D.C. federal circuit and district court judges, ruled on February 9: "...that the portion of the [Judicial Watch] complaint concerning the special assignment of cases be returned to the Acting Chief Judge for reconsideration in light of the letter of January 10, 2000...from The Honorable Howard Coble, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property of the Committee on the Judiciary United States, House of Representatives, and for consideration of whether a special committee should be appointed...to investigate further this aspect of the complaint." Congressman Coble's letter had raised further questions about Chief Judge Norma Holloway Johnson's assignment of cases concerning Bill Clinton's fundraising to recent Clinton appointees….."

THE WASHINGTON TIMES 2/10/00 Jerry Seper "…..The Judicial Council of the D.C. Circuit, in a terse two-paragraph ruling, ordered acting Appeals Court Chief Judge Stephen F. Williams to determine why a random computer assignment system at the court was bypassed in four campaign fund-raising prosecutions and a tax-evasion case against Clinton pal Webster L. Hubbell. Chief District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson abandoned the computer system to send the cases to judges appointed by Mr. Clinton. She has declined public comment on the decision, but told The Washington Times in a letter last month she was authorized to assign "protracted or complex criminal cases to consenting judges when circumstances warrant," although she did not elaborate. The new investigation was sought by Rep. Howard Coble, North Carolina Republican and chairman of a House subcommittee that oversees the courts, and Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest law firm…….Mr. Coble's concerns focused on cases involving Mr. Hubbell, former associate attorney general; Arkansas businessman Charles Yah Lin Trie; Democratic fund-raiser Howard Glicken; Thai lobbyist Pauline Kanchanalak; and Miami fund-raiser Mark B. Jimenez. The judges were Paul L. Friedman, James Robertson and Emmet G. Sullivan, all of whom were named to the bench by Mr. Clinton in 1994; and Henry H. Kennedy Jr., appointed by Mr. Clinton in 1997……"

NewsMax.com 2/13/00 Carl Limbacher "……"Arkansas Judges, remember, are required to swear a loyalty oath to the Democratic Party." (The Wall Street Journal -- December 15, 1993) Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette report that President Clinton's financial backers will have a substantial say in his disbarment proceedings is disturbing to say the least. ……. On Friday Clinton managed another historical first. Beyond being the first elected president to have been impeached, he became the first sitting president to be formally served with an official ethics complaint. But five of the fourteen members of the Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct, it turns out, have opened their wallets for Clinton or other Democrats in past election cycles. Still, given the state's political millieu, the real surprise here is that it's only five. Not for nothing is the single statewide newspaper known as The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. And despite the new Republican regime in Little Rock, the Clintons still dominate the state's legal elite…… Recall how a Democrat appointed judge sprang stonewalling Whitewater convict Susan McDougal from jail as soon as she complained of a backache. But her husband Jim, who cooperated with investigators fully, was tossed into solitary confinement and denied his heart medication -- only to be discovered dead of a cardiac arrest the next morning. All this, as a Little Rock grand jury weighed Clinton indictments. Anybody not get the message here? ….."

The Boston Globe 2/13/00 "…..In reopening an investigation into what appears to be the politically motivated assignment of federal cases, the Judicial Council for the District of Columbia Circuit has struck a blow for integrity. The council, which oversees judicial conduct, has ordered a federal appeals court judge to look into the circumstances under which Chief Judge Norma Holloway Johnson bypassed the random assignment of cases and sent six involving prosecutions of Clinton administration officials or associates to Clinton-appointed judges…….. At the very least, Johnson's actions give the appearance of trying to rig the system. Given the scandal that's swirled around this administration, it's amazing that a Clinton appointee would behave so recklessly. Judicial Watch, a Washington-based organization, filed a complaint about the practice, which was initially dismissed as ``frivolous'' by Appeals Court Judge Stephen Williams. (Johnson called it ``anonymous adolescent chatter.'') The council reversed Williams' judgment and ordered him to look into appointing an investigative committee. The rule allowing Johnson to personally assign cases has since been abolished. Still, the public is entitled to know if the corruption that permeates this administration has tainted its appointees to the federal judiciary….."

AP 2/10/00 Jim Abrams "….Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott pushed through the confirmation of two federal judges Thursday, defying an effort by his fellow Republicans to block all nominations put forward by the Clinton administration. "I don't think we should, or would, be able to go all year without confirming any nominations," Lott, R-Miss., said in explaining his decision to press ahead with the votes. "Some of these are good men and women ... and in some of these states, there truly is a need for more judges." The Senate voted 96-2 to confirm Thomas Ambro as U.S. Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit and 95-2 to approve Joel Pisano to be U.S. District Judge for the District of New Jersey. The long-simmering standoff between the administration and Senate Republicans over federal judges boiled over at yearend. That's when Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., accused President Clinton of violating an agreement on making temporary recess appointments, a method of bypassing the Senate confirmation process. Inhofe said 19 Republican senators had joined in deciding to put "holds" on all judicial nominees. ……. Under Senate tradition, a single senator can block further floor action on a nominee by putting a "hold" on the nomination. But in this case, with Democrats accusing Republicans of playing politics in blocking worthy judicial nominations, Lott decided to move ahead with votes on the two non-controversial judges. ……"

Washington Post 2/9/00 Pete Yost "…. Prompted by new information from a congressman, a judicial body that oversees judges' conduct reopened a review Wednesday into why the chief federal judge in Washington directed criminal cases of presidential friends to appointees of President Clinton. The Judicial Council ordered appeals court judge Stephen Williams to look into the circumstances surrounding the assignment of five campaign fund-raising prosecutions and the tax evasion case against long-time Clinton confidant Webster Hubbell. In each of the six cases, Chief District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson bypassed the computer system that randomly assigns cases. Instead, Johnson sent the prosecutions to Clinton appointees. The Associated Press first brought the special assignments to light in a story last summer regarding the Hubbell case and the fund-raising prosecution of presidential friend Charlie Trie. ….."

Arkansas Democrat Gazette 1/10/00 Michael Rowett "……Five of the 14 people who could decide whether President Clinton loses his Arkansas law license have contributed to the campaigns of Democratic candidates or to Clinton. A review of federal campaign contribution databases shows that three members of the Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct -- Richard Reid of Blytheville, Bart Virden of Morrilton and Dr. Patricia Youngdahl of Little Rock -- have contributed to the Democratic Party of Arkansas or to Democratic candidates. Two members of the Alternate Committee on Professional Conduct -- Chairman David Solomon of Helena and Dick Hatfield of Little Rock -- donated to Clinton's 1992 or 1996 presidential campaigns and to other Democratic candidates. The 30 contributions by members of the committee and the alternate committee total more than $16,000……."

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 2/12/00 Michael Rowett "….Five Arkansans who could play a role in deciding whether President Clinton loses his Arkansas law license should recuse themselves from the matter because they've contributed to Clinton or other Democrats, the chairman of the Republican National Committee said Friday…... In a news release Friday, Republican committee Chairman Jim Nicholson asserted that three members of the Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct and two members of the Alternate Committee on Professional Conduct would have a "conflict of interest and appearance of impropriety" if they don't recuse. A review of federal campaign contribution databases by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette showed that three members of the professional conduct committee -- Richard Reid of Blytheville, Bart Virden of Morrilton and Dr. Patricia Youngdahl of Little Rock -- have contributed to the Democratic Party of Arkansas or to Democratic candidates. Two members of the alternate committee -- Chairman David Solomon of Helena and Dick Hatfield of Little Rock -- donated to Clinton's 1992 or 1996 presidential campaigns, along with contributions to other Democratic candidates. No donations to Republican candidates or the Republican Party were listed for any of the 14 members of the regular or alternate committees….."

The Wall Street Journal. editorial page 2/4/00 "…. A few days ago, the Associated Press's Pete Yost reported on one of the lingering ghosts of the Clinton scandals: "Addressing a growing controversy, federal judges in the nation's capital killed a rule that enabled the chief judge to send prosecutions against friends and supporters of President Clinton to his judicial appointees." In the normally well-cloaked world of judicial procedure, this is a very big deal. As far as we can make out from a large data-base search, the AP story was picked up by next to no major news outlets……. This past summer, the Associated Press also disclosed that Judge Johnson had directed cases against Presidential pal Webster Hubbell and fund-raiser Charlie Trie to Clinton appointees. Judge James Robertson was assigned the Hubbell case in April 1998. Judge Paul Friedman was assigned the Trie case in January 1998. Later, Judge Friedman was assigned the cases of campaign finance figures Maria Hsia and Pauline Kanchanalak…..The matters newly revealed last month include the assignment of the case of Mark Jimenez, a fugitive from the Justice Department's campaign-finance probe, to Judge Friedman (who, it should be noted, drove the internal review that had resulted in abolishing the discretionary assignment rule). And hearings regarding Miami businessman and Democratic fund-raiser Howard Glicken were assigned to Judge Henry Kennedy, a 1997 Clinton appointee….."

The Post and Courier (Charleston SC) 2/5/00 "…… Public faith in the court system demands the convincing perception that judicial case assignments are above political influence. Fortunately, judges at the federal court in Washington, D.C., have taken a positive step toward restoring that credibility in their courts. Unfortunately, that step was necessitated by a negative situation that still clouds the reputation of U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson - chief judge of that district. Several of her colleagues expressed concern last summer when they learned that Judge Johnson, appointed by President Carter, had consistently bypassed standard random-assignment procedure to place cases against friends and associates of President Clinton in the courts of Clinton-appointed judges. Among the cases that received the bypass treatment were prosecutions of presidential pals Webster Hubbell and Charlie Trie and Democratic fund-raisers Maria Hsia and Pauline Kanchanalak. ….."

 

Associated Press 2/16/00 Pete Yost "…..The chief judge of the federal court here suggested that Justice Department prosecutors ask that a criminal case against a Democratic fund-raiser be sent to a judge appointed by President Clinton, documents state. Chief U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson has already drawn judicial and congressional scrutiny for bypassing the normal random assignment system and sending the cases against six Clinton supporters to judges appointed by the president. But Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C, whose judiciary subcommittee is looking into the assignments, disclosed a new document on Wednesday which states that Johnson suggested to prosecutors that they ask for the case of fund-raiser Maria Hsia be sent to a judge appointed by Clinton. "This procedure is unusual, unorthodox and may be improper," Coble wrote in a letter to the federal appeals court in Washington. Coble, a House Judiciary subcommittee chairman, enclosed a copy of a notice that the Justice Department filed in the Hsia case in 1998 in which prosecutors requested the case be sent to U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman "at the suggestion of the Chief Judge." …."

AP 2/26/00 "…….Two members of an Arkansas Supreme Court committee who could hear ethics complaints against President Clinton have stepped aside from the cases. Carlton Bailey and Richard Reid have notified the Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct that they won't participate in matters relating to Clinton. The committee's executive director, James Neal, released a letter Friday making public the recusals, which usually are kept secret. ……."

US House of Representatives 2/18/00 Congressman Tom Campbell "…….Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit handed down a decision in the case of, Campbell et al. v. Clinton, preventing any American citizen from challenging a President's war power authority. The majority opinion in short says: The judicial branch will refuse to intervene when the Congress and the President reach a constitutional impasse over the decision to go to war. …….The Court of Appeals decision comes nearly eight months after Congressman Tom Campbell and thirty other Members of Congress filed an appeal of the lower court's initial ruling dismissing the lawsuit for lack of standing. The majority opinion states that no American citizen -- not Members of Congress, military personnel, or affected civilians -- may bring suit in a court of law to challenge a President's war power authority. If the Congress wishes to compel a decision from the President, then it can do so only by cutting funding of our American troops when they are already in combat or by impeaching the President. This decision effectively eliminates the exclusive power of Congress to declare war under Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, and the 1973 War Powers Resolution which requires the President to obtain either a declaration of war or specific statutory authorization from Congress before committing U.S. armed forces into hostilities. ……"

AP/CNN 2/22/00 "…..Whitewater prosecutors are asking the Supreme Court to preserve presidential friend Webster Hubbell's guilty plea to a misdemeanor tax charge, in a case that seeks to clarify the reach of some grants of immunity from prosecution. The prosecutors want the justices to rule they could use documents against Hubbell that he was forced to produce under a limited grant of immunity. Hubbell's lawyers say the grant of immunity means the documents he turned over were "hopelessly tainted" and therefore could not be used as evidence. After Tuesday's argument, a decision is expected by July. ….. The Constitution's Fifth Amendment protects people from having to testify against themselves, but it does not protect them from having to turn over documents, new independent counsel Robert W. Ray said in court papers. Ray took over the independent counsel's job from Kenneth Starr last October. …."

Associated Press 2/22/00 Laurie Asseo "….Several Supreme Court justices today questioned the prosecution of presidential friend Webster Hubbell using documents he was forced to provide under a limited grant of immunity. "Did the government know about the contents of the documents beforehand?" Justice Sandra Day O'Connor asked Whitewater prosecutors' lawyer, Ronald J. Mann. "It was only by virtue of the production of the documents that you learned the facts that enabled you to carry out the prosecution." Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg suggested that "the immunity that you gave him immunized nothing. If that was the case, wasn't there a certain deception involved?" Hubbell pleaded guilty last year to a misdemeanor tax charge based partly on financial papers he was required to give Whitewater prosecutors under limited immunity. Mann argued for new Independent Counsel Robert W. Ray, who took over the job from Kenneth Starr last October…… Several justices questioned how turning over documents differs from being forced to provide blood or handwriting samples or stand in a police lineup - all of which can be required. ….."

OIC 2/22/00 "….. Independent Counsel Robert W. Ray issued the following statement today: The Office of the Independent Counsel, with the Department of Justice arguing in full support, went before the Supreme Court today to ensure that a prosecutor's access to ordinary business and tax records in a criminal investigation is sustained. It is well established that the Fifth Amendment applies only to compelled testimony, not to the compelled production of physical objects, including documents. The Government argued that whenever it compels production of ordinary business and tax records by granting limited act of production immunity, and does not use the testimony of the suspect in any way, it does not infringe on a suspect's privilege against compelled self-incrimination. Because the Government did not make use of any compelled testimony related to the contents of the documents, the United States left Mr. Hubbell in substantially the same position under the Fifth Amendment as he would have been in absent the grant of immunity. The United States's position in this matter, if accepted by the Supreme Court, will help prosecutors ensure that tax fraud and other white collar crimes that are evident from a review of ordinary business and tax records do not escape prosecution. ….."

The American Spectator 2/11/00 Terry Eastland "…… The next president could pack the courts. That's why judicial selection is the sleeper issue in the presidential campaign. - - In early December, the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League ran a television ad in New Hampshire claiming that George W. Bush "would appoint judges who would overturn the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion." Just before Christmas, 13 Republican senators, in a dispute with the White House over recess appointments, vowed to block all of President Clinton's judicial nominees for the remainder of his term, a move that, if successful, would allow the next president to make the appointments. These two events suggest the importance both parties attach to judicial selection in this election year. Under the Constitution, the president nominates and, subject to Senate confirmation, appoints judges. For this reason, the election of a president always carries with it the possibility that he will use his appointment power to affect the jurisprudential direction of the federal judiciary. And whether a Democrat or a Republican, the next president will likely have the opportunity to pack the courts with his kind of judges. ……."

Portland Press Herald 2/13/00 AP "…..An attorney for Thomas Skakel, once the prime suspect in the 1975 killing of Martha Moxley, says his client has effectively been exonerated of any wrongdoing in the case. Thursday marked the deadline for a one-judge grand jury investigating the Moxley slaying to recommend any arrests. Last month, Judge George Thim found there was sufficient evidence to charge Michael Skakel, Thomas' younger brother with murder. "Since there is no report, I believe my client is completely cleared as far as an investigation is concerned, and his innocence has been more firmly established," said Emmanuel Margolis, Thomas Skakel's attorney. The grand jury adjourned Dec. 10 after an 18-month investigation into the slaying. Under state law, the grand jury has 60 days to issue its findings. The prosecutor for the Moxley case could not be reached for comment Friday. For years, Thomas Skakel was considered a prime suspect in the case because he was the last person seen with Moxley the night she was killed, Oct. 30, 1975. Both Skakel brothers, nephews of the late U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, were among a group of teen-agers with Moxley that night. ….."

AP 2/18/00 "…..A federal appeals court Friday refused to revive a lawsuit by 31 members of Congress who accused President Clinton of overstepping his authority when he ordered the military to join in last year's NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. The members of Congress lacked legal standing to pursue their argument that Clinton violated the 1973 War Powers Act, said the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Writing for the court, Judge Laurence Silberman said the members of Congress lacked standing because they had ``ample legislative power to have stopped prosecution of the war.'' Congress could have passed a law forbidding the use of U.S. forces, and it could have cut off funds for the operation, wrote Silberman, a Reagan nominee to the court. ……. Rep. Tom Campbell, the California Republican who led the lawmakers suing the president, said lawmakers would consider appealing to the Supreme Court. ``The court's decision today is a disappointment to all of us who try to uphold the Constitution,'' Campbell said in a statement released by his office. ``To allow a president to make war on his own is a terrible error.'' …..U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman dismissed the case last June, saying those who sued failed to show ``a sufficiently genuine impasse between the legislative and executive branches to give them standing.'' ..."

THE WASHINGTON TIMES 2/17/00 Jerry Seper "…..The chief judge of the federal court here told Justice Department prosecutors to ask that a criminal case against a Democratic fund-raiser be assigned to a judge appointed by President Clinton, records show. Chief District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson, already under investigation for bypassing the court's random computer assignment system, made the request in the prosecution of Democratic fund-raiser Maria Hsia. Judge Johnson has suggested she assigned the Hsia case to Judge Paul L. Friedman, a Clinton appointee, because it was related to a case he already had been assigned - the prosecution of Arkansas businessman Charles Yah Lin Trie. She used the department's statement that the cases were related as justification for her decision to bypass the random assignment system…….In a Feb. 14 letter to the House Judiciary subcommittee on the courts and intellectual property, the Justice Department acknowleged that it had filed "a related case notice stating that at the suggestion of the chief judge" the Hsia case was related to the Trie prosecution……."As far as I am concerned, this procedure is unusual, unorthodox and may be improper," said Mr. Coble. "The subcommittee is concerned that the chief judge may have improperly influenced the department's decision to file a related case notice. "Did Chief Judge Johnson abuse her position by requesting that the department file a notice of a related case, particularly when the department apparently did not believe the cases were related?" Mr. Coble asked in requesting that the ongoing investigation be expanded. "Was this an attempt to disguise a special assignment? . . . An investigation in this matter should immediately be commenced."……"

Denver Post 3/8/00 Stacie Oulton "…..Conservatives and liberals alike are willing to "twist and bend" the U.S. Constitution to fit their own beliefs, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia warned several hundred law students Tuesday. "This is equal opportunity heresy," Scalia said during a breezy and informal talk at the University of Denver School of Law. Scalia said he is troubled that great social issues end up before the court, such as "Is there a right to homosexual conduct?" "Is there a right to abortion?" and "Is there a right to die?" And he said people on both sides are guilty of manipulating the Constitution to fit their views. "Why do you want lawyers to decide this?" he asked. "Why do you want five out of nine lawyers deciding these questions? Do they have a special capacity?" He said the proper place for those issues are the legislature and ballot box. ……"

Newsday.com 3/7/00 Jim Abrams "……Senate Republicans made a last-ditch attempt Tuesday to block the confirmation of federal appellate judge nominee Richard A. Paez, including questioning Paez's role in granting immunity to a fund-raiser who solicited $1 million in illegal contributions to the Democratic Party four years ago. But Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., said that while he opposed the nomination, he intended to abide by a commitment to bring the Paez nomination to a vote. Moving to that vote was further complicated Tuesday when conservative Sen. Bob Smith, R-N.H., began a filibuster against both Paez, currently a U.S. District Court judge in Los Angeles, and Marsha Berzon, a San Francisco lawyer. President Clinton has nominated both to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers California and wide areas of the West. ……"

ABCNEWS.com 3/5/00 Josh Gerstein "….It's hard to know whether U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth should be flattered or insulted. The Clinton Administration and its conservative opponents at Judicial Watch have been quietly battling for months over the judge and the question of whether he should hear a host of lawsuits pending against White House officials and others……... Judicial Watch, which boasts on its website of "using the court system in a creative manner," designated each of those cases as related to the main Filegate suit and, as a result, they were all assigned to Lamberth. That irked the White House, which decided to see if it could get the cases reassigned. White House officials wouldn't comment on their rationale, but referred me to court filings that state "there are no common issues of fact that legitimately may serve as a justification for a related case designation." For his part, Judicial Watch's Larry Klayman says all the cases are part of one big, ongoing conspiracy. "These are offshoots of the Filegate case," he said. "It's part of the continuing breach of privacy." Neither side will say directly why they're so exercised. However, Klayman appears to want all the cases to go before Lamberth because he ruled in 1997 that the White House is a federal agency subject to the requirements of the Privacy Act. …."

World Herald 3/8/00 Cal Thomas "…..In the final Democratic debate before the Super Tuesday election, Vice President Al Gore responded to a question about the type of Supreme Court justices he as president would select: "I would look for justices of the Supreme Court who understand that our Constitution is a living and breathing document, that it was intended by our Founders to be interpreted in the light of the constantly evolving experience of the American people." Gore went on to note that while the supposed right to an abortion is not in the Constitution, the late Justice Harry Blackmun read that right into it. Gore said that the Constitution must evolve because when it was written Thomas Jefferson owned slaves and women couldn't vote. Gore's view of the Constitution, shared by most political liberals, is one of the most dangerous philosophies of our time. It establishes a class of philosopher-kings who determine the rights of the people and shreds the Constitution as a document that conforms people to unchanging principles that promote their own and the general welfare. A "living" Constitution, notes constitutional attorney John Whitehead, means the Constitution is "up for grabs," and it becomes whatever the justices decide, not the people through their elected representatives. ….."

The New York Times 3/7/00 Amy Waldman "…..The Justice Department's decision on whether to bring federal civil rights charges against the four officers acquitted of state murder charges in the death of Amadou Diallo should be made within weeks, department officials said today. The time frame was given in a meeting between Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder and representatives of police unions, including the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, which had sought a meeting with the department to argue against a federal prosecution. …."

Southeastern Legal Foundation Action Update 3/1/00 "……President Clinton has sixteen (15) days remaining to respond to formal legal ethics complaints served on him by the Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct. The two complaints served on Clinton are based on a complaint filed by the Southeastern Legal Foundation more than 18 months ago and a contempt citation referral from Chief U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright in April 1999. On Saturday, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that two (2) additional members of the Arkansas Committee, which will consider professional penalties against Clinton for lying under oath and obstruction of justice in the Paula Jones lawsuit, have recused themselves from the proceedings. Committee members Carlton Bailey and Richard A. Reid notified the Committee's Executive Director, James Neal, of their intention to recuse earlier this month. Neal released the names on Friday last week, citing "widespread attention and interest generated by the {Clinton complaints}." ……Bailey, a law professor at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and Reid, a Blytheville attorney and contributor to the Arkansas Democratic Party and Democratic candidates, joined Dick Hatfield, a member of the Alternate Committee who recused himself on February 17th, bringing the total recusals to three (3). ….."

LA Times 3/1/00 Don Frederick Dan Morain "…..Gov. Gray Davis said Tuesday that he would expect judges he appoints who later break from him on key issues, such as becoming foes of the death penalty or advocates of same-sex marriages, to resign from the bench. Davis, commenting at a breakfast with reporters in Washington, conceded that, given the separation of powers between the state's executive and judicial branches, he could not compel a judge to step down. Nor would he lobby a judge on an issue or a case, he said. But Davis, who angered legislators last year by saying they should "implement my vision," added that those he has named to state government jobs should "keep the faith" with positions he has staked out. That attitude, he said, extends to judges. ….."

 

 

The Indianapolis Star 3/10/00 Bill mcCleery "…..U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas laments that few citizens bother to read the U.S. Constitution - a worthy task that takes "less time than watching the evening news." We dismiss it, he says, at our own peril. "We the people ... don't read this document," he said, holding up a copy for an audience of about 1,300 at the Economic Club of Indianapolis. "And I think it's a threat for people to be ignorant of their government." Thomas, a member of the high court since 1991, is a proponent of strict-constructionism' - believing that a judge should interpret the Constitution according to the framers' intent rather than the judge's personal philosophy. While taking questions from the audience, Thomas addressed Vice President Al Gore's recent assertion that the Constiution is "a living and breathing document... intended by our founders to be interpreted in the light of the constantly evolving experience of the American people." Replied Thomas: "Well the copy I have is inanimate." He said the the amendment process provides a means for correcting any deficiencies. That is the way slavery was banned and women were given the right to vote, he noted. It would be wrong for justices to try to circumvent that process by "intrepting" the Constitution to mean something different from what the framers intended, he said. "We're not philosopher kings. We're nine human beings. We gain no mythical powers when we put on those black robes." ….."

 

Detroit News 3/17/00 Jon Pepper "…… It's lucky for the former political director of the Teamsters union that he led a life of liberal activism. If William Hamilton hadn't been disposed to march in demonstrations as a college student, lead the Washington office of Planned Parenthood, work for Democratic politicians, and toil as the chief of staff for the AFSCME, he might have to spend an extra 11/2 years in jail. As it happened, Hamilton was sentenced this week to three years in jail for embezzling money from the financially distressed union. That's less than the recommended 46 to 57 months that he would serve under sentencing guidelines. "He has indeed led an exemplary life," said Federal District Court Judge Thomas P. Griesa in New York. And what of the criminal behavior by the exemplary Mr. Hamilton that led him to be sentenced at all? He robbed the nearly broke union so that he could save it from corruption. …."

Wall Street Journal 3/20/00 Ronald D Rotunda "…….Justice is supposed to be blind, deciding the law without favoritism. But there is a gradual accumulation of evidence that points in a contrary direction -- that when criminal cases important to President Clinton were assigned and decided in the federal district court in Washington, D.C., Justice lifted her blindfold and politics controlled. The cloud of suspicion can be removed only if the D.C. federal court system and Congress thoroughly investigate and make public their findings. Let's look at some of the facts.

……..When I was a special consultant to Kenneth Starr's Office of Independent Counsel, the OIC often found its investigation delayed and disadvantaged by lower-court rulings subsequently reversed on appeal. When the Department of Justice brought its campaign-finance prosecutions, it also ran into a series of adverse rulings, also reversed on appeal. The trial judges who made a series of errors were all members of "the Magnificent Seven," a label the Clinton appointees gave themselves (until Mr. Clinton added an eighth judge in 1998).

……..Normally, criminal cases are supposed to be assigned randomly. However, we now know that when criminal prosecutions were brought against Webster Hubbell and others with close ties to Mr. Clinton, Chief Judge Norma Holloway Johnson of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., secretly bypassed the traditional random assignment system, passed over more experienced judges, and assigned the cases to the Magnificent Seven…….

……..Judge Johnson assigned the Hubbell case to Judge James Robertson. She assigned to Judge Paul Friedman the campaign-finance case against Charlie Trie, the campaign-finance case against Democratic fund-raiser Maria Hsia, and the false-statements case against Thai lobbyist Pauline Kanchanalak. These Clinton-appointed judges then issued rulings that crippled the prosecution; in all these cases, various panels of the D.C. Circuit reversed. Do you detect a pattern here?

……….Judge Johnson assigned the case against Democratic fund-raiser Howard Glicken to Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr., a 1997 Clinton appointee, claiming that it was "complicated or protracted," although Mr. Glicken's lawyer announced, when Mr. Glicken was charged, that he would plead guilty. She assigned the case against Miami fund-raiser Mark Jimenez to Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, a 1994 appointee.

……..One case in particular stands out, the prosecution of Webster Hubbell for income tax evasion. Parties not particularly close to Mr. Hubbell -- but close to the president -- paid Mr. Hubbell nearly $1 million. In return, Mr. Hubbell, who was in prison at the time, appeared to do no work. A cynic might call the payments hush money. Judge Robertson, who presided over this case, had worked in and donated money to, President Clinton's 1992 campaign. In the Hubbell tax-fraud prosecution, Judge Robertson ruled that he could ignore the ruling of the three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit and hold that the OIC did not have jurisdiction to prosecute Mr. Hubbell and the other defendants, and that it could not use tax documents subpoenaed from Mr. Hubbell. Judge Robertson used incendiary language, calling the OIC's tactics (which other circuits had approved) "scary." The D.C. Circuit agreed with these other circuits and reversed. At the time, the OIC did not know that Judge Johnson had manipulated the assignment to get the case before Judge Robertson. I went back to the transcripts after this information became public and saw Judge Robertson's comments in a new light. The transcript reads as if Judge Robertson had decided that the case was not going to trial; he just had not decided why……..

………At the hearing of May 8, 1998, OIC counsel asked Judge Robertson to set a trial date, which is standard operating procedure. The judge responded that he normally does that but it would be "arbitrary" to do so here, "when we're looking at the kinds of motions that I'm sure are coming." In other words, the judge refused to set a trial date because of motions not even filed; that is not standard operating procedure. The OIC attorney replied that he had already talked to defense counsel and they were prepared to find a mutually agreeable date, to which Judge Robertson answered, apparently in surprise: "Oh." He still refused to set a date………

...... At the June 2, 1998 hearing, the judge again questioned whether "it makes sense for us to set a trial date," and he volunteered that any date will be written "in sand here if there are, heaven forfend, interlocutory appeals." The defendants are not entitled to interlocutory appeals but the prosecution is, so once more it appeared that the judge had already decided that there would be no trial. On July 1, three business days after oral argument, Judge Robertson issued a lengthy written opinion. This is an extraordinarily brief time in which to formulate a decision and write it up, unless the judge had made up his mind in advance…..

……..Perhaps it was happenstance that Judge Johnson secretly assigned the Hubbell case to Judge Robertson, a Clinton appointee. Perhaps Judge Robertson's statements in the transcript do not indicate that he, from the very beginning, had prejudged the matter and decided there would be no trial. But then another eyebrow-raiser occurred: It was discovered that Clinton-appointed judges on the D.C. district court were holding monthly caucuses from which other federal judges were excluded……."

NATIONAL REVIEW 3/17/00 Otto Kreishner San Diego Union Tribune "……California Gov. Gray Davis, who earlier angered legislative leaders by saying their job is to "implement my vision," insisted yesterday that judges he appoints should "reflect the views I've expressed" or resign. "I've let every judge know that, while they have to follow the law . . . they're there because I appointed them, and they need to keep faith with my electoral mandate," said Davis, who was in Washington for the National Governor's Association conference. "That is totally contrary to the notion of judicial independence and the separation of powers," said Philip F. Anderson, the immediate past president of the American Bar Association……"

NewsMax.com 3/23/00 Diane Alden "…….. One has to love a guy who claims: "As I sometimes put it, the U.S. Constitution poses no serious threat to our form of government." Joseph Sobran is a writer, a thinker, a constitutionalist - and dead right. Recently, he wrote an article titled "When Tyranny Came to America," in which he outlines the history of the Constitution and how it "died" and what took its place. The left would disagree with his conclusions, but so would all collectivist-statists of whatever political persuasion. They call it a living document, which to them means: subject to the whims of whatever is currently the trend or perceived needs of the "people," even if fulfilling those needs is unconstitutional. The upcoming "Million-mother March Against Guns" is a case in point. Led by a friend of Hillary Clinton, Donna Dees-Thomases, these gals will wave the flag as they whittle away at the Second Amendment and the Constitution, which they use as cover. The million mothers are marching not in support of getting criminals with guns off the streets, but rather denying them to citizens who don't commit crimes. Whether they know it or not, these well meaning moms are heaving the baby out with the bath water. As usual, the left is using women and children as a shield for its real intent, which is to pull the life support from an already critically ill Bill of Rights……The "moms" are merely shills for the people who want to pick and choose which parts of the Constitution they want to keep. These moms don't really believe in the Constitution or its intent because they "feel" guns are nasty, smelly things and should be banned. ..."

The Washington Post 3/24/00 Ted Bridis "……That familiar e-mail greeting may start showing up with a novel twist: "You've got a subpoena!" Dozens of electronic messages racing across the Internet this week carried what's believed to be an unprecedented payload - a subpoena and other documents approved by a judge warning that the recipient's Web site may be violating a federal court order. Supporters applaud the idea, saying it allows attorneys to respond in accelerated "Internet time" to new issues of law and technology. Critics say it's unworkable because e-mail can be falsified or forged so easily. And unlike with human delivery, it can be nearly impossible to verify that an e-mail subpoena was served successfully. In a highly unusual legal fight in Massachusetts, U.S. District Judge Edward Harrington granted a temporary restraining order last week against two computer experts who distributed a method to thwart the popular "Cyber Patrol" software, which blocks children from Internet pornography. ….."

Fort Worth Star-Telegram 3/14/00 Larry Neumeister AP "……A federal judge ruled Monday that U.S. prosecutors did not reach beyond their authority by charging Osama bin Laden and 16 others in the bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa. Lawyers for six men charged in the case had argued that U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White sought an unprecedented expansion of federal jurisdiction over crimes allegedly committed on foreign soil…….. U.S. District Judge Leonard Sand said it "would make little sense" to restrict enforcement of U.S. laws overseas to suspects who are U.S. citizens or lawful residents. "I find it difficult to conceive of Congress saying we want to protect our interests abroad against attacks by Americans but not against attacks by non-Americans," the judge said two weeks ago during a hearing. In his ruling Monday, Sand wrote that "foreign nationals are in at least as good a position as are United States nationals to carry out such attacks."……"

 

MIAMI HERALD 4/17/00 Amy Driscoll Andres Viglucci "……Should a federal court order Lazaro Gonzalez to return Elian to his father, the lawyers representing the boy's Miami family will be thrust into a tricky legal position. On one hand, the family's defense team -- numbering about a dozen -- has an obligation to strongly advocate for their client. But as officers of the court, legal ethics prohibit the lawyers from encouraging the boy's great-uncle to disobey a federal court order and break the law. ''Though a lawyer has substantial latitude in advising a client, it is clear that a lawyer cannot aid a client in committing a crime,'' said Anthony Alfieri, a University of Miami law professor and director of the Center for Ethics and Public Service. ''Noncompliance with a court order -- contempt of court, in other words -- is a criminal act. To advise the family to do anything less than comply with a federal court order would be unethical,'' he said. ……"

AP 4/14/00 Rebecca Mahoney "…….Caroline Douglas has complained for years that she couldn't get a fair shake in her divorce case because her ex-husband, former state Supreme Court Justice Chuck Douglas, knew all the judges in New Hampshire. All of a sudden, Mrs. Douglas might get people to listen. Late last month, a New Hampshire Supreme Court justice was accused of trying to influence his colleagues in his own divorce case. That set off a crisis that threatens to bring down the state's highest court. As for Mrs. Douglas, she and three other ex-wives of judges plan to file a federal lawsuit alleging they were treated unfairly by the legal system because of their husbands' connections. ………. The crisis erupted two weeks ago, when Supreme Court Justice Stephen Thayer resigned after being accused of trying to intervene in two cases in which he had an interest. Among other things, he was accused of trying to influence the assignment of judges to hear his divorce case. ………. Mrs. Douglas claimed from the outset that she could not get a fair trial in New Hampshire, where her husband, a one-term congressman, remains influential in Republican politics. She tried to have the trial moved to Vermont or another neutral forum, but both the state and U.S. Supreme courts refused. Her U.S. Supreme Court petition originally landed on the desk of Justice David Souter, a former colleague of her husband's on the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Thornton said her lawyer during her 1992 divorce failed to research her husband's assets. She also discovered later that the lawyer had argued cases before her husband a couple of weeks before her divorce trial. ……."

Townhall 4/13/00 Robert Novak "………When U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth on March 29 ruled that President Clinton committed a crime in releasing Kathleen Willey's personal letters, a presidential aide delivered this appraisal of the judge: "A loose cannon." That was reported over national television, and shortly thereafter, the White House was prompting Democratic senators to threaten that they never would permit Lamberth's promotion to a higher court. ……… Considering the admission by sometime Clinton private eye Terry Lenzner that in 1997 he was employed to investigate sitting judges, Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch wrote FBI Director Louis Freeh April 7 asking for a probe of "threats and coercion by the Clinton machine" against Lamberth. That coincided with an unprecedented judicial investigation of alleged favoritism toward Clinton in assignments made by the District of Columbia's chief federal judge. The president's ability to emerge unscathed from so many allegations can be traced to the fact that they are generally assigned to 12 D.C. district judges. Clinton-appointed jurists once called themselves "the Magnificent Seven," but since then, their number has reached eight. The remaining judges include the fearless, feisty Lamberth, who was named by Ronald Reagan. Thus, adjudication of the Clinton scandals depends on which judge gets the case. …….."

excite.com 4/4/00 Reuters "……..U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas Tuesday called some news media coverage of the court "frivolous" because it focused on keeping score of how the justices voted. Thomas, in a speech to the Tampa chapter of the Federal Bar Association, said such reports tried to characterize the justices by the way they voted, how many decisions they wrote and what kind of questions they asked during oral arguments. "It is frivolous to talk about scorekeeping in that way. It trivializes the work of the court," Thomas said. He said one news report about a recent ruling that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration lacks authority to regulate tobacco had tried to determine which of the nine justices were smokers. ……."

AP 3/31/00 Pete Yost "….. A special panel is beginning an investigation of the chief federal judge in the District of Columbia because she assigned six Whitewater and campaign fund-raising prosecutions to Clinton appointees. Appeals Judge Stephen Williams chose four judges -- three Republicans and a Clinton appointee -- to help him delve into why Chief U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson bypassed the computerized system of randomly assigning cases. In 1998 and 1999, Johnson sent six cases against presidential friends and Democratic fund-raisers to judges nominated by President Clinton. ……. But the court's 13-member Judicial Council reopened the complaint, filed by the conservative group Judicial Watch, after Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C., presented additional evidence that Johnson also directed four other fund-raising cases to Clinton appointees. ……. Launching a full-scale judicial investigation of a judge is a serious step that court rules call a "last resort." ……Subpoena power is available to the panel and the investigation will almost certainly result in Johnson submitting to questioning under oath by her fellow judges, either in writing or in person. The five-member panel will turn over its findings to the Judicial Council of appeals court and district judges in Washington, which can issue a censure or reprimand or refer the matter to the Judicial Conference of the United States. …..

AP 3/31/00 Pete Yost "….. In letters to Coble and Judicial Watch on Tuesday, Williams named the four Washington-based judges he appointed to help him with the inquiry:

--Judith W. Rogers, a Clinton appointee on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
--A. Raymond Randolph, a Bush appointee on the appeals court.
--U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan, a Reagan appointee.
--U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, a Reagan appointee.

Ronald Rotunda, a former member of prosecutor Ken Starr's staff, criticized Johnson's special assignments this month in The Wall Street Journal. ……."There is a gradual accumulation of evidence ... that when criminal cases important to President Clinton were assigned and decided in the federal district court in Washington, D.C. ... politics controlled," Rotunda wrote. A written guide to federal courthouse rules in the District of Columbia states that when a complaint is made against a judge, "formal investigatory procedures are to be regarded as a last resort." The guide says the law is "better and more promptly served if an informal solution can be found that will correct the problem giving rise to a complaint." ….."

Washington Weekly 4/3/00 J. Peter Mulhern "……. When Janet Reno pontificates about the Rule of Law its time to reach for the barf bags. Ms. Reno spent the last seven years shielding her masters from the consequences of criminality by ignoring her clear legal responsibilities under the Independent Counsel Act. Now she lectures Cuban exiles in Miami on their sacred obligation to obey her every arbitrary whim. After Waco Ms. Reno apparently concluded that there is no problem she cannot solve with the application of enough force. She makes no bones about her willingness to repatriate Elian Gonzalez by force if his Miami relatives can't be persuaded to hand him over without a fight. All indications are that a significant amount of force might be required. The dispute between the Department of Justice and Elian's Miami relatives is much misunderstood. The ongoing litigation doesn't consider whether Elian would be better off in Florida or in Cuba. That issue is not before the federal courts. The federal courts are in the process of deciding whether that issue will ever be considered in any forum. ……..s. Reno has concluded that there should be no hearing to determine whether repatriation to Cuba is in Elian's best interests. She went to court specifically to avoid any such hearing. She insists that the government can and should deport Elian summarily because nobody except his father can properly apply for political asylum on his behalf. Elian is entitled to asylum under our law, but he cannot apply on his own because he is too young. …….. If Reno gets her way nobody will ever pause to consider whether life as the ward of the State in a brutal Communist dictatorship is better for Elian than a life with a loving family in America. She has to avoid ever asking that question because the answer is painfully obvious, even when one considers that Elian's father is in Cuba...."

Judicial Watch 4/3/00 "……..The April 10 issue of U.S. News & World Report reported this week that Clinton White House is "egging on" Democrats in the Senate to block any future appointment of Judge Royce Lamberth, the federal judge overseeing the Filegate and Chinagate civil litigation……… The Clinton White House, along with Hillary Clinton, is a defendant in the Filegate lawsuit. Bill Clinton and Al Gore, along with others, are defendants in the Chinagate litigation. All therefore have a significant political interest in undermining Judge Lamberth. Judge Lamberth has recently ruled that Bill Clinton committed the crime of violating the Privacy Act when he (with the help of Mrs. Clinton) released letters from the government files of Kathleen Willey in an effort which Clinton admitted was an effort to destroy her. "Simply put, it may be a crime for the Clinton White House to threaten a federal judge in a case in which it is a defendant," stated Judicial Watch Chairman and General Counsel Larry Klayman. "Judicial Watch will investigate, as should Congress, who in the Clinton-Gore White House is trying to intimidate this judge."……."

Chicago Sun-Times 4/2/00 Robert Novak "……Word has spread through the capital's legal circles that if Al Gore defeats George W. Bush for president, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia may retire at age 64 after 14 years on the high court…... He grumbled privately that only Justice Clarence Thomas joined him in interpreting the Constitution as it was written instead of as it is imagined. If Gore is elected with the prospect of naming still more liberals, Scalia's frustration could be too much, and he may call it a judicial career. ......"

AP via WSJ 4/18/00 "......A splintered Supreme Court Tuesday tightened limits on death-row prisoners trying to their appeal state-court convictions to the federal judiciary. By a 5-4 vote, the court limited federal judges' power to overturn tainted convictions and sentences in state courts. But the court voted 6-3 in the same case to throw out convicted Virginia murderer Terry Williams's death sentence. Federal judges may intercede only if a state court "arrives at a conclusion opposite to that reached by this court on a question of law" or if the state court "identifies the correct governing legal principle from this court's decisions but unreasonably applies that principle to the facts of the prisoner's case," Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote for the majority. ......"

New York Times 4/18/00 Rebecca Raney "….The Federal Election Commission said on Friday that it had dismissed the complaint on the grounds that it was too low a priority to warrant the use of the commission's resources. By dismissing the case in this way, the agency failed to resolve an issue raised by the complaint and by the commission's previous opinions on Internet matters: whether the activities of individuals advocating the election or defeat of political candidates online are subject to government regulation, much like political action committees that spend millions of dollars on mailings and television advertising. The creator of the site, Zack Exley, said he was pleased with the dismissal when he learned of it from a reporter Monday. But he said he was concerned that the FEC had not addressed the larger issue of political activity by individual voters on the Web. ……"

CNSNews.com 4/18/00 Jim Burns "……House Government Reform Committee Chairman Dan Burton (R-IN) Tuesday asked Federal Judge Norma Holloway Johnson, Chief Justice for the DC Circuit, to testify before the committee on May 17th to explain the case assignment process for certain cases involving key Clinton-Gore 1996 campaign fundraisers. Burton said in a statement on Capitol Hill, "There have been several questions raised in the news media about the manner in which cases involving Clinton-Gore campaign fundraisers were assigned. We would like to give Judge Johnson an opportunity to clear the record once and for all." However, the Judge herself wouldn't comment on the committee request. "I'm sorry, the Judge does not talk to the press," was the reply from the Judge's assistant to CNSNews.com's inquiry seeking comment on Tuesday…….."

Tampa Bay Online 4/18/00 Karen Gullo AP "……In a letter delivered to Johnson Tuesday, Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., said the Committee on Government Reform he chairs wants to know "the rationale behind the assignment of the specific cases." …….. Legal experts said it's unusual for a federal judge to testify before Congress. Under constitutional separation of power rules, Congress can't meddle in what courts do. But Johnson is not immune from inquiries by another branch of government on administrative matters, said Stephen Gillers, a New York University law professor. "If she wrote an opinion, she would not have to answer anyone but she has both a judicial function and an administrative function as a chief judge," Gillers said. If Johnson refuses the request, the committee could issue a subpoena ordering her to testify. But "we haven't even crossed that bridge because we hope that she will agree to testify," committee spokesman Mark Corallo said. ……"

Associated Press 4/18/00 "…..Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia chastised Congress on Tuesday for enacting provisions that allow quick court review of new laws that push "the edge of the constitutional envelope." "I think that is disturbing because it indicates that Congress is increasingly abdicating its independent responsibility to be sure that it is being faithful to the Constitution," the justice told a telecommunications symposium sponsored by Michigan State University. "My court is fond of saying that acts of Congress come to the court with the presumption of constitutionality," Scalia said. "But if Congress is going to take the attitude that it will do anything it can get away with and let the Supreme Court worry about the Constitution ... then perhaps that presumption is unwarranted." ……"

The Associated Press 4/1/00 Katherine Webster "……. CONCORD, N.H.- A day after one state Supreme Court justice was forced to resign, a state lawmaker said Saturday three of the remaining four justices could face removal by the Legislature for ethics violations. ``I think the state's judiciary has just had a tremendous train wreck, and it's going to take us a long time to dig all the bodies out of the wreckage,'' said Republican Rep. Paul Mirski. Mirski said he planned to file a bill Monday to impeach or otherwise remove Chief Justice David Brock. Impeachable offenses include ``bribery, corruption, malpractice or maladministration in office.'' Judges can be removed for other offenses through a ``bill of address.'' Accused of criminal ethics violations, Justice Stephen Thayer resigned Friday. In return, state Attorney General Philip McLaughlin promised not to prosecute. ….."

World Magazine 5/6/00 "........ James Dale wants to be a Scoutmaster. Never mind that he's homosexual, while the Boy Scouts he wants to lead must promise to be "morally straight." The Scouts are a "public accommodation," his lawyer argued before the Supreme Court last week. As such, they must accommodate anyone. "In your view, a Catholic organization has to admit Jews," said Justice Stephen Breyer to Mr. Dale's lawyer, "and a Jewish organization has to admit Catholics." Not to mention that Hell's Angels would have to admit guys without beer bellies. Here's WORLD's short list of what America would look like if the court accepted Mr. Dale's very broad view of public accommodations:
The Girl Scouts would have to admit boys. (This might be an attractive option to some boys, because braiding hair looks much easier than tying knots.)
University Women's Studies departments would have to admit conservative Christian professors.....
Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) would have to admit second cousins of ex-gays, which would make for a very awkward acronym-PFSCLGAX, perhaps. ..."

AP 5/6/00 Pete Yost "……The chief federal judge in the District of Columbia has hired prominent Republican attorney Michael Madigan to represent her in a judicial misconduct investigation of why she assigned campaign fund-raising cases and a Whitewater prosecution to Clinton appointees. ……. Legal sources at the courthouse said that in recent weeks before Chief U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson hired Madigan, she summoned at least three clerk's office employees to her chambers and questioned them about their recollections of the handling of the cases. …….. One employee was brought back for at least one additional round of questioning by Johnson and all three employees were questioned in the presence of a court reporter, said the sources, speaking on condition of anonymity. …….A former assistant U.S. attorney in the District of Columbia from 1969-73, Madigan was chief counsel for Sen. Fred Thompson's campaign finance investigation of fund-raising abuses in the 1996 election. ……."

Associated Press 5/3/00 "……A former U.S. attorney will conduct an inquiry of the chief federal judge in the District of Columbia, who assigned the prosecutions of alleged campaign fund-raising improprieties and the Whitewater case to be heard by Clinton appointees, legal sources said. The inquiry has already caused repercussions, with a defense attorney in one of the campaign fund-raising prosecutions seeking a delay until the inquiry is completed. The appointment of Joe D. Whitley, who served as a U.S. attorney in the Reagan and Bush administrations, is a rare step for judicial disciplinary proceedings. Whitley will work for a five-judge panel that is overseeing a misconduct complaint against Chief U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson to determine why she bypassed the normal random case assignment system, legal sources at the courthouse said Tuesday. ……"

Associated Press 5/3/00 "……"I can't think of any parallel situation in which it became known that an outside investigator has been hired," said New York University law professor Stephen Gillers. "Usually it's all done internally." Whitley declined comment through a secretary at the Atlanta law firm where he works. He served as U.S. attorney in Macon, Ga., from 1981-87, then moved to the Justice Department in Washington, where in 1989, he became acting associate attorney general, the department's No. 3 post. From 1990-93, Whitley served a second stint as U.S. attorney in Atlanta. ......"

WorldNetDaily 5/3/00 David Bresnahan "…..Former Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr would not confirm or deny plans to indict the president or the first lady on criminal charges when Clinton's presidency ends -- but there was a smile on his face when he said he couldn't comment. Starr was helping to raise money to disbar President Clinton Saturday night, and he granted an exclusive interview with WorldNetDaily to reflect on his experience while investigating the president. ……Starr said it was nearly impossible to conduct an investigation effectively when the Clinton administration attacked him every day. He said he was understaffed and had no one to perform public relations that could respond to the spin team at the White House. ……. Clinton had an "army" of public relations people, said Starr, while he had no one. He said members of Congress constantly complained that they would send him letters and he never answered. His office did not have enough staff to handle correspondence, and no one to deal with public relations. …."

WorldNetDaily 5/3/00 David Bresnahan "….."We carried on. I'm not whining," explained Starr. "We carried on and we were able to do our work effectively and successfully in courts until the results of impeachment were in." He claims his effectiveness ended when "we saw the jury pool in Arkansas and the eastern district in Virginia polluted by the residue of the very hard feelings that impeachment understandably had left. But until that time, we did conduct ourselves with no small degree of success against some very heavy odds, including the conviction of a sitting governor of the state of Arkansas, who conventional wisdom was could never be convicted in the state of Arkansas." Starr says he has no regrets, and he would not have done anything differently. He does not think he was too detached from the process, nor does he agree with critics who say he was not sufficiently aggressive. …….."I think we did what we were obligated to do, which was to provide the information to Congress, along with an analysis of it. And then it was entirely in the hands of the political system, which was the way the founding generation meant for it to be," Starr said. "There was nothing, I think, substantially in terms of the conduct of the investigation, that we could have done differently from a practical matter. We determined to be fair. For that, I do not apologize. We determined to be complete in the referral. We don't apologize for that," he said. ….."

New York Times 5/3/00 Neil Lewis "……A special judicial panel has chosen a former federal prosecutor to conduct its investigation of why the chief trial judge in Washington assigned several criminal cases involving associates of President Clinton to judges appointed by President Clinton, lawyers in the case said today. …. The former prosecutor, Joe D. Whitley, an Atlanta lawyer who served in two Republican administrations, will look into why the chief judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Norma Holloway Johnson, bypassed the usual computer-operated random selection scheme and assigned a handful of Clinton-related cases to four judges named to the bench by Mr. Clinton. …… Judges at the local courthouse who spoke on the condition of anonymity said today that they believed the investigation had little chance of producing any new information or insights. …… One judge noted that because the investigation involved Judge Johnson's motives, there was little an investigation could do to challenge her assertion as to why she bypassed the random selection system. Another judge, a Republican appointee, said he believed that Judge Johnson made the assignments to enliven the workload of some judges she favored with interesting cases. ……."

Associated Press 5/2/00 Pete Yost "…..In a rare step, a judicial panel has hired a former U.S. attorney to investigate why the chief federal judge in Washington specially assigned the cases of presidential friends to judges appointed by President Clinton, legal sources said Tuesday. Joe D. Whitley, a Republican who served in the Reagan and Bush administrations as a prosecutor in Georgia and Washington, will conduct the investigation of U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson, according to the legal sources, who spoke only on condition of anonymity. Whitley will work for the five-judge panel that is overseeing a misconduct complaint against Johnson to determine why she bypassed the normal random case assignment system in a half dozen prosecutions in the fund-raising and Whitewater investigations. …… ''I can't think of any parallel situation in which it became known that an outside investigator has been hired,'' said New York University law professor Stephen Gillers. ''Usually it's all done internally.'' …….. According to courthouse sources, Whitley will interview Johnson and others about why she bypassed a computer system that randomly assigns criminal cases. Johnson's bypassing of the random system disturbed some of her colleagues, and they have since discarded the rarely used court rule that allowed the special assignments. The sources said it was unclear whether a separate matter -- closed meetings among Clinton-appointed judges at the courthouse -- also will be investigated. ……."

The Courier-Journal 4/25/00 Kin Wessel "…… A jury unable to decide on a verdict tossed a coin last week to convict a man of murder, prompting a judge to declare a mistrial yesterday. The Jefferson County Circuit Court jury of five men and seven women deliberated about nine hours over two days last week before finding Phillip J. Givens II guilty of murder for killing his girlfriend, Monica Briggs, 29, last May. …… Givens, 28, was back in court yesterday, facing a maximum sentence of life in prison, when Judge Kenneth Conliffe learned how the jury had reached its verdict. …….. In court yesterday, Conliffe told David Melton, 45, the jury foreman, "It has come to the attention of the court, that with the great deal of difficulty that the jury had, that you all got to a point where you were in essence almost hung, and that you may have resolved the issue by a flip of the coin." Melton acknowledged that had happened. Conliffe declared a mistrial, and set a new trial for Sept. 12. ……. Givens' lawyer, Mark Chandler, said it's "scary" to think that 12 people would decide to flip a coin to reach a verdict, especially in a murder case when the defendant could face life in prison. ……."

CNS News 4/26/00 Thomas Jipping "…… Republican appointees to the Supreme Court are helping cement its role as America's cultural regulatory commission. The Supreme Court banned clergy-led graduation prayers in 1992. Reagan appointee Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the opinion in the 5-4 decision. The reason I said the Supreme Court banned these prayers is that the Constitution does not. The Constitution only bans federal laws respecting an establishment of religion. A sixty-second invocation at a ceremony no one is required to attend does not establish religion. ...... Yet Justice Kennedy was not being led by the Constitution, he was using the Constitution to achieve what he thought was a good result. He personally thought such prayers had no place in public school functions; that they made some people attending uncomfortable, and just should not be allowed. Because he is a judge, he believed he could make the Constitution enforce his personal preferences on everyone else. ......"

Committee on Goverment Reform Website 4/18/00 Dan Burton letter to Judge Johnson "……Pursuant to Rules X and XI of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Goverment Reform has been conducting an investigation into campaign finance abuses. As part of it investigation, the Committee has examined the Department of justice's Campaign Financing Task Force's (Task Force) handling of its investigation, as well as indictments and cases brought by the Task Force. In examining those issues, it came to our attention that several of the cases brought by the Task Force in the United States District court for the District of Columbia bypassed the normal random case assignment process and were specially assigned by you in your role as Chief Judge. In fulfilling our oversight responsibilities under House Rules, and continuing our investigation of campaign finance related matters, the Committee will convene a hearing to examine the special assignment of cases brought by the Department of Justice Campaign Financing Task Force and the Office of Independent Counsel……

I am writing to request that you testify at this hearing. Specifically, we will ask you to testify about the decision to bypass the random case assignment process in the following specific cases: U.S. v. Trie; U.S. v. Hsia; U.S. v. Hubbell; U.S. v. Glicken; U.S. v kanchanalak; and, U.S. v. Jimenez. The Committee is interested in discussing your administrative decision to bypass the random selection process in the referenced cases, as well as the rationale behind the assignment of the specific cases. The Committee wants to assure you that it intends to focus solely on the administrative process of the case assignments and will not make any queries which go to the substance of these or any other cases before the united States District Court for the District of Columbia. The Committee's objective is to learn why the random selection process was not used for these specific cases. …..The hearing will take place on Wednesday, May 17, 2000, at 10:00a.m., in room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building......."

Judicial Watch 4/21/00 "……Judge David S. Tatel issued a ruling late Good Friday denying a request from Judicial Watch for him to voluntary recuse himself in an appeals court matter concerning the man who appointed him, Bill Clinton. Judge Tatel, who sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and who was appointed by Clinton in 1994, is scheduled to hear Clinton's unusual "mandamus appeal" of a lower court ruling that concluded that Clinton criminally violated the Privacy Act when he authorized the release from government files of letters to him from Kathleen Willey. Judicial Watch had pointed out to Judge Tatel that Judge David W. Hagan, another Clinton appointee, recently recused himself from a lawsuit brought by Gennifer Flowers against Hillary Rodham Clinton, James Carville, and George Stephanopoulos. Judge Hagan, to his credit, cited "the appearance of impropriety" in recusing himself. Judge Tatel's order did not address this. Judge Tatel's order is attached. Similarly, judges connected to Bill Clinton in the Eighth Circuit also recused themselves from cases directly concerning him in the Jones case……"

The Wall Street Journal 5/15/00 "……Sometimes even we are amazed by the insularity of Washington. A case in point is the rush by Senate Republicans to confirm Bruce Lindsey's attorney to a critical appeals court seat only months before an election they might even win. Mr. Lindsey is President Clinton's Arkansas-friend-turned-White House counsel, the keeper of all Whitewater secrets, the man whose silence may have saved his pal's Presidency. His lawyer is Allen Snyder, whose reward for counseling the consigliere is a nomination to the prestigious D.C. Circuit court of appeals. This is the nation's second most important court, ruling on such things as White House requests for executive privilege. It's also the court that may ultimately have to rule on District Court Judge Norma Holloway Johnson's habit of assigning cases involving Clinton allies to Clinton-appointed judges……. Mr. Clinton nominated Mr. Snyder last September 22, the same day he appointed James Lyons to the 10th Circuit. Mr. Lyons is the Denver lawyer whose famous "Lyons report" helped the Clintons sweep Whitewater under the rug during the 1992 campaign. Numerous convictions later, Mr. Clinton is using these nominations as a way to both reward his enablers and revise the history of his Presidency. . …"

National Review 5/15/00 John O. McGinnis, professor, Benjamin N. Cardozo School Of Law "……In an important victory for federalism and limited government, the Supreme Court today in United States v. Morrison declared that Congress exceeded its powers when it provided for a federal lawsuit to remedy crimes that are not related to interstate commerce. The Court emphasized that states can and should penalize noneconomic crimes, but that in our system of federalism, the states and not the federal government are entrusted with this responsibility. Writing for a narrow five-member majority that included Justices O'Connor, Kennedy, Scalia, and Thomas, Chief Justice Rehnquist held that the section of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) providing a private right of action against perpetrators of gender-related violence was aimed at discouraging noncommercial activity - in this case violence. Therefore Congress could not regulate the conduct under the Commerce Clause. ……"

Los Angeles Times 5/16/00 Robert Jackson "……Norma Holloway Johnson, the chief federal district judge in the nation's capital, is on the hot seat. "This is extremely rare," said Jonathan Turley ..."I have never heard of a judicial investigation that has proceeded to the point of hiring an outside investigator. Usually this is all done internally." ….. Presiding over a court system that handles more high-profile political cases than any other, Johnson is being investigated by her peers for assigning half a dozen criminal cases involving friends and associates of President Clinton to judges appointed by the president……..… Now the matter has become even more serious for Johnson. The judicial panel has hired former Republican U.S. Atty. Joe D. Whitley to conduct a full-scale investigation. He served in the Ronald Reagan and George Bush administrations as a prosecutor in Georgia and as a Justice Department official in Washington. ……. If Johnson was not politically motivated, as many now concede, what led her to make special assignments? Some Republican observers believe it was consistent with her reputation for "controlling everything she touches," as one put it. Another said that she may have been trying to ingratiate herself with new judges by awarding them high-profile cases. The judicial council could wind up disciplining her if it determines that her conduct was questionable. ………"

ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE 5/11/00 Seth Blomeley "……. Calling Pulaski County Circuit Judge Morris Thompson's defense "disturbing" and "self-serving," the Arkansas Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered him removed from office. This was a first in Arkansas. In the past, judges in similar situations resigned rather than face possible removal…….."

ABC News – AP 5/18/00 AP "……A federal appeals court today sharply questioned a judge's ruling that President Clinton committed a crime in releasing friendly letters from a woman who accused him of groping her. But the appeals court expressed strong doubts that it will intervene now, as the White House wants, in the lawsuit that spawned the ruling against Clinton. …….. The Privacy Act does not cover the Executive Office of the President, previous administrations have concluded. "How could there be intent" on the president's part to break the law in view of the previous discussions? asked Edwards. Appeals Judge David Tatel, a Clinton appointee, said "the plain language" of the law suggests that the Privacy Act does not cover the president and his top advisers. ......... However, Edwards, a Carter appointee, and Appeals Judge Douglas Ginsburg, a Reagan appointee, suggested the issue could be dealt with on appeal when the lawsuit ends. "What is the harm" to the White House with letting the lower court decision stand for now? asked Ginsburg. ......"

ABC News – AP 5/18/00 AP "……Edwards was dismissive of Schultz's argument that there were broad implications for Lamberth's ruling. "Your concern has to be focused on this case," Edwards told the Clinton administration lawyer. Lamberth found that Clinton "had the requisite intent for committing a criminal violation of the Privacy Act" when he authorized the release of the letters in the midst of the 1998 criminal investigation that led to his impeachment and acquittal. In an emergency appeal, the Clinton administration is asking the appeals court to set aside Lamberth's ruling. It is highly unusual for appeals courts to involve themselves in cases before they are disposed of. ……Lamberth's ruling came in pretrial proceedings in the lawsuit by Reagan and Bush administration appointees over the Clinton White House's gathering of hundreds of FBI background files on Republican officials.. "

www.townhall.com 5/20/00 Robert Novak "……Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch have arranged for the confirmation of conservative Republican Bradley Smith to the Federal Election Commission in exchange for approving 16 of President Clinton's nominations for federal judgeships. Conservative Republican senators grumble that one appointment to a weak commission hardly is compensation for so many lifetime judicial appointments. The 16 proposed judges include Timothy Dyk, whose nomination for the U.S. Court Appeals for the District of Columbia is opposed by some 200 grass-roots organizations who cite his resistance to limiting indecent television programming, and Mary McLaughlin, who is nominated for a Pennsylvania district judgeship and received the 1998 ACLU award for abortion rights advocacy. ……"

yahoo.com 5/18/00 Amy Worden "……Calling the federal grand jury system unfair and abusive, a panel of legal experts today asked Congress to institute reforms to remove it from the "unrestrained power of prosecutors." "The federal grand jury system is a lawless institution," said Gerald Lefcourt, co-chairman of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Commission on Grand Jury Reform. The grand jury is the only process in the criminal justice system where a lawyer is excluded from accompanying his client in a courtroom, he said. Some prosecutors argue that allowing a witness to have a lawyer present during questioning would be disruptive. But Lefcourt said the several states that have passed laws allowing lawyers in grand jury rooms have had no complaints from prosecutors. ……"

house.gov 5/11/00 Dan Burton (R-IN) "……..Chairman Dan Burton (R-IN) today expressed his disappointment that Chief Judge Norma Holloway Johnson has refused to appear before his committee to testify about her controversial assignments of campaign fundraising cases. On Monday, Burton received a letter from Judge Johnson's attorney, Michael Madigan, informing the Committee that Judge Johnson would not agree to testify at a hearing scheduled for May 17th. ……… "

Associated Press Writer 5/18/00 Kelly Kissel "……..Half the members of a state panel with the power to strip President Clinton of his law license have bowed out of the case. The recusals leave barely enough members to consider whether to discipline him for lying under oath in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case. The 14-member Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct meets Friday and could consider two requests that Clinton be disciplined……… The committee did not say Thursday why any of the seven committee members removed themselves. Four had contributed to Clinton's presidential campaigns or to other Democratic Party candidates…….. The committee also lost an alternate member when his term expired this spring, leaving five lawyers and a lay person, Chairman Ken Reeves said Thursday. Four votes are needed to impose sanctions…….."

Newsmax.com/ 5/31/00 Joe Uliana "……No institution has advanced the liberal agenda more in the last forty years than the courts. At almost every turn, when the legislative and electoral process roared up to defeat liberal efforts to change social, economic or foreign policy, some court was there to try to stop conservative encroachments on activist government. When Californians voted to end affirmative action, the federal courts issued an injunction that thwarted the will of the people. When Florida's legislature passed sweeping education reforms that included school choice, the courts quickly stepped in to stop implementation of the legislature's action. And in the sixties, when almost every state enforced capital punishment, the Warren Court struck it down as unconstitutional. …….. Look beyond these individual court cases and you will see the rise in tort litigation, the expansion of criminal rights, the creation of class action law suits and the rise of regulatory policy making as an outgrowth of the left's activism in our legal system. ……"

Sierra Times 5/30/00 Ray Thomas "…….GLESEN have appealed to the courts and Judge Allen van Gestel obligingly placed an illegal "national gag order" on any distribution of this tape on the grounds that the taping was illegal because it was done "in secret." His order even prevents the media from playing or even discussing this tape. He seems to be more worried about his children being taped than about them being taught gay sex in secret paid for with tax money." He recently made his temporary order permanent. …..I really shouldn't have to instruct a judge on the niceties of the law. First of all, he has no authority outside of Massachusetts based on a Massachusetts law against "secret taping" that applies to us, but not to police authorities. Furthermore, such an order is "prior restraint" according to the U. S. Constitution and patently violates the First Amendment. He might be able to stop individuals from discussing or circulating this tape based on a stretch of the law allowing judges to place gag orders on cases involving child abuse to "protect the child.," but there is no way he can stop the news media from writing or talking about this tape.. They tried in the "Pentagon Papers" case, and found out they could not do it. In any case, parts of this tape were broadcast on WTKK-FM (96.9) and created a "firestorm of controversy." Many stories about it have appeared in Massachusetts newspapers and, I presume, on radio and television. So "the genie is out of the bottle." The world knows and can discuss it, independent of the tape. ….."

Chicago Tribune 5/29/00 Naftali Bendavid "….It is highly unusual for a president to take on a judge this way, but Royce Lamberth is hardly a typical judge. The flamboyant 56-year-old Texan in recent years has aimed a series of well-publicized jabs at the Clinton administration--penalizing high-level aides, challenging presidential initiatives, questioning administration motives and lambasting Clinton officials in cutting, colorful language. …… Lamberth's reputation for nettling the president, who also faces a humiliating recommendation by an Arkansas disciplinary panel that he lose his law license because of untruthful testimony in the Paula Jones case, is such that one user of the anti-Clinton Web site Free Republic recently posted the message, "U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth is WAY Cool! An unsung hero in my book." Replied another, "YES WAY COOL!!!!!!!" A third wrote that Lamberth "is just hammering the Clinton Admin." …….. Those familiar with Lamberth, including many of the lawyers who practice before him, say he is highly suspicious of the government and appears to strongly dislike the Clinton administration. That, combined with an affinity for publicity, has prompted Lamberth to issue a string of provocative--his critics would say questionable--rulings against Clinton and his associates. ……"

Chicago Tribune 5/29/00 Naftali Bendavid "…."The substance of some of his rulings has been, to be polite, suspect," said Stanley Brand, a prominent Democratic attorney. "The ruling on the Privacy Act was outrageous. To conclude in a civil case that the president committed a crime, which would mostly be a jury issue, seemed inappropriate and unfounded and unnecessary." …..Lamberth's equally fervent defenders respond that he is justifiably skeptical of a heavy-handed government and an administration that has been known to cut corners. Before being appointed by President Ronald Reagan, Lamberth was a government lawyer, and some say that helps him see through government stonewalling. "He knows what is going on in the courtroom, and he doesn't take kindly to pretenders," said former U.S. Atty. Joseph diGenova, a Clinton critic and Lamberth's former boss. "He was a real litigator before he became a judge. He knows prevaricators and people who fool around with the system and people who are dilatory and charlatans." ……"

Chicago Tribune 5/29/00 Naftali Bendavid "….Lamberth has a friendly, open demeanor and a gentle Texas accent. Virtually every surface in his office, including chairs, is piled several feet high with court documents. The walls feature a sketch of Lamberth presiding over a trial and a framed flag of Texas given to him by a group of clerks. "When lawyers do things that are wrong, a judge's obligation is to call them to account," Lamberth said. "Many judges would rather say, `Go settle this yourselves. Go work this out. Don't bother me.' I don't think that's the right approach. But my reputation bothers me. I'm not seeking to have a reputation either that I'm harsh on lawyers or that I'm hard on the government." ……"

AP 5/27/00 Richard Carelli "…The relationship between the federal government and the 50 states - what constitutional scholars call federalism - is not likely to make for heated breakfast-table discussions in most homes. But in a series of 5-4 votes, the Supreme Court has been redefining federalism in decisions that could prove to be as explosive and as close to home as abortion or religion or what can be shown on cable television, or other topics that reach the nation's highest court. In these rulings, states have been winning big time and Congress, which has been giving powers to the federal government, has been taking its lumps. The court's view of federalism is defining the ebb and flow of political power……… "

NY Times 5/26/00 Carl Kaplan "…… A federal judge has relied upon the ancient law of trespass to temporarily stop an Internet company from using a software robot or spider that "crawls" through another company's Web site, extracting and copying information. The 22-page decision was issued Wednesday by Judge Ronald M. Whyte of the United States District Court in San Jose on behalf of the auction giant eBay Inc. It temporarily bans Bidder's Edge Inc., the operator of an auction listings site, from "accessing eBay's computer systems by use of any automated querying system without eBay's written authorization." ......"

CNSNews.com 5/24/00 Thomas Jipping "…… America's founders said the judiciary is the weakest, the least dangerous, branch of government. What a difference a couple of centuries make. This year it is the judiciary, and especially the Supreme Court, that is the biggest thing at stake in the presidential election. The Supreme Court's recent decision striking down the Violence Against Women Act is a good example of how much is at stake. Government power and our freedom are inversely related. Knowing this, the founders created a system that imposed more limits on government where the threat to our freedom is the greatest. The formula is simple: the powers given to the federal government are few and defined, while the powers retained by the states and the people are many and indefinite……."

Newsday.com 5/24/00 Katherine Rizzo "…..The Senate confirmed 16 of President Clinton's judicial nominees to lifetime terms on the federal bench after voting Wednesday to place on the Federal Election Commission a conservative professor who believes there should be no limits on political donations. Bradley A. Smith was confirmed 64-35. The judges and 47 other Clinton nominations were approved either on voice vote or by wide margins. The confirmation of Smith, who was lauded by his main Senate backer as ''the most qualified nominee'' in FEC history, was sharply criticized by Common Cause, the leading lobbying group for overhauling current campaign finance laws. …… ''The Senate has made a weak and ineffective agency even worse,'' said Scott Harshbarger, the group's president. ……"

National Review 5/24/00 Andrew S. Gold "…… The legal establishment's left wing was more outraged this past week than it has been in years. Jack Balkin, in the New York Times, accused the Rehnquist Court of relying on "racist precedents" from the era of Reconstruction. Larry Kramer, in the Washington Post, stated that the Warren Court "could not touch this one for activism." Justice Souter warned the Court of a narrowly averted "near tragedy" when it engaged in allegedly similar decisions in the 1930s. None of this drama is because the Court held the Violence Against Women Act unconstitutional: Most commentators are aware that women will continue to have the same substantive rights at the state level. What worries the legal pundits is that decades of legislative carte blanche are coming under judicial scrutiny. ……. Our nation's most important legal doctrine is not always its most glamorous. The idea that the powers of the federal government are limited is well-known to the average middle-school student. Individual rights, such as the right to freedom of speech, are deeply ingrained in our society and the legal system. That fact that Congress only has the power to legislate on matters enumerated in the Constitution, however, is rarely mentioned in any context. Even so, this doctrine matters at least as much as the Bill of Rights. ......"

WorldNetDaily 5/22/00 Chuck Baldwin "…..On May 5, Federal District Judge Jennifer Coffman ordered historical documents hanging on the walls of public buildings in Eastern Kentucky to be immediately taken down. The ruling directly targets courthouses and public schools in Harlan, McCreary and Pulaski counties. In defending her decision, Coffman said the displays have the effect of "conveying a very specific government endorsement of religion." Judge Coffman's ruling demonstrates either a profound ignorance of America's history or a profound contempt for America's history. In either case, the judge declared war on America's deep Christian heritage. ……. The offending documents ordered removed included the Declaration of Independence, the preamble to the Constitution of Kentucky, and the national motto, "In God we trust." A page from the congressional record of Wednesday, Feb. 2, 1983, Vol. 129, No. 8, which declares 1983 as the "Year of the Bible" and lists the Ten Commandments, was likewise ordered removed. In addition, a proclamation by President Ronald Reagan marking 1983 the "Year of the Bible," a proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln designating April 30, 1863, a "National Day of Prayer and Humiliation," the Mayflower Compact, and more were ordered removed. Any document having any reference to God was ordered taken down. ………..

WorldNetDaily 5/22/00 Chuck Baldwin "…..Using Judge Coffman's reasoning, never again would people be allowed to say the Pledge of Allegiance in a public gathering because the words "under God" are in it. No public meeting could ever be opened in prayer. The Supreme Court building would need to be remodeled. Directly above the head of the Chief Justice is an engraving of the Ten Commandments, which is protected by a great American eagle. On the east front is a marble sculpture of Moses. That would have to be torn down. No longer could the Court open with the invocation: "God save the United States and the Honorable Court." ……."

6/27/98 AP "……Attorney Mark Cambiano has been sentenced to probation on a money laundering-related charge. The 43-year-old Morrilton lawyer, who was initially accused of funneling drug money to President Clinton's inauguration fund and the Democratic National Committee, pleaded guilty in April to causing a bank to file a false transaction report. ……… U.S. District Judge George Howard Jr. sentenced Cambiano to three years' probation. Howard said he was persuaded that Cambiano deserved leniency and also waived a fine. ……… Initially, Cambiano faced 30 other counts in an April 1997 indictment. All those charges were dropped. …….. At the time of his guilty plea, Cambiano told Howard he deposited $62,000 in a Morrilton bank in June 1992, half of which was a loan from one of his former clients, Willard Burnett, who later pleaded guilty to drug charges and conspiracy to commit capital murder. Prosecutors said the other half of the money was given to Cambiano by Burnett. ……"

Denver Post 6/25/00 Erin Emery "…….Tax limitation advocate and state Senate candidate Douglas Bruce distributed brochures to potential jurors this week urging them to "judge the law itself and vote on the verdict according to conscience." Bruce's actions prompted two judges to delay trials and dismiss an estimated 70 juror candidates. Bruce, author of the 1992 Taxpayer's Bill of Rights and a candidate for the Senate seat held by Ray Powers, R-Colorado Springs, was summoned to jury duty Tuesday for a civil trial involving a breach of lease agreement. ......Fourth District Judge Tom Kennedy said that when he learned of Bruce's leaflets about 9:30 a.m., he told Bruce: "I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't hand them out." But Bruce told him he had already distributed dozens of the leaflets. ……. At the request of a defense attorney, Kennedy dismissed a panel of 40 potential jurors who were to hear evidence in a sexual assault trial in Kennedy's court. ……..Judge Ed Colt postponed a criminal trial because he dismissed another 30 juror candidates. ......... Kennedy said he knew of no effort to charge Bruce with contempt. In Colorado, contempt charges have been filed against people after they took an oath as jurors and then distributed the "jury nullification" information. ..."

CBSNEWS 6/14/00 Dan Rather "……We tend not to pay as much attention to the Supreme Court as we do to the other branches of the federal government. We don't, for example, tend to think of the court as being controlled by the Republican or Democrats, the way we do the legislative or executive branches. ….But it's worth taking notice, in this election season especially, because the next president will likely have the chance to appoint four or even more Supreme Court justices over the next four or eight years of his term or terms. Of the nine justices now on the bench, four are over 65 years old: Chief Justice William Rehnquist is 76 and associates John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O'Connor, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg are 80, 76, and 67, respectively. The remaining justices are all in their early sixties, except for Clarence Thomas, the youngest by far at 42. ……"

First Amendment Cyber-Tribune 6/13/00 "…..In Vermont, a number of state judges and one federal judge don't think citizens have the right to attend criminal or civil trials -- at least not those citizens who criticize judges or the decisions they make. Citizen-reporter Scott Huminski has been summarily barred from Vermont courts for his criticisms. His case is a lesson in how those in power, even when they know they are wrong can subvert constitutional guarantees of liberty. Although Huminski transports antiques for a living, for the past three years he has been on a crusade watching how his state courts operate…….The trespass orders have worked. They have kept a citizen-reporter from engaging in public debate about his state courts. Huminski has not been close to a Vermont court for nearly a year. His reporting has been silenced. ….."

Newsday.com 6/9/00 AP "…….Lamenting his own failure to be more open with the public during the Whitewater investigation, Kenneth Starr urged judges Friday to appear on television and use other media to better inform people about the justice system. ''I should have provided the public more, not less, information,'' the former independent counsel whose investigation led to President Clinton's impeachment said in a speech to judges, lawyers and reporters at the National Judicial College. ''I felt for my part, I should just remain silent, not go on Sunday talk shows. I feel that was a real mistake,'' he said. ''It would have been better for me to have been simply making myself more available to answer the basic questions about the investigation, its origins, the mandate having come from the attorney general to us.'' ….."

APB News 6/9/00 Robert Anthony Phillips "……David Fischer attempted to strangle his girlfriend but he says that doesn't mean he's not a good citizen. While serving an 11- to 22-year prison sentence for assaulting the woman and then trying to get her to change her story, Fischer filed a lawsuit and temporarily won the right from a state court to cast a ballot from behind bars in his hometown election in 1998. But on March 24, the New Hampshire Supreme Court overturned the decision by the lower court, ruling that the state has the right to set "reasonable" voter qualifications. ………"

New York Times 6/12/00 Fox Butterfield "…..The most far-reaching study of the death penalty in the United States has found that two out of three convictions were overturned on appeal, mostly because of serious errors by incompetent defense lawyers or overzealous police officers and prosecutors who withheld evidence. The study, an examination of appeals in all capital cases from the time the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty, in 1973, to 1995, also found that 75 percent of the people whose death sentences were set aside were later given lesser sentences after retrials, in plea bargains or by order of a judge. An additional 7 percent were found not guilty on retrial. ……"

New York Times 6/6/00 James Sterngold "….In the second unusual shift in a major national security case in recent weeks, the federal judge who was to oversee the trial of a scientist accused of mishandling nuclear weapons secrets has suddenly announced that he was excusing himself from the case to assume senior status. The judge, John Edwards Conway of Federal District Court in Albuquerque, was scheduled to preside over the trial of Wen Ho Lee, a Los Alamos National Laboratory physicist who is accused of having illegally downloaded a mountain of highly sensitive nuclear secrets with the intention of passing them to a foreign power. …….. Mr. Conway said in a statement that he had decided to take what is known as senior status, a kind of semiretirement that allows him to reduce his case load and that he had chosen to drop out of the Lee case. An experienced judge, Mr. Conway was nominated to the bench in 1986. "I've been there and done that," Mr. Conway said of his decision. ….."

Washington Times 6/9/00 "….Still another crime the company committed, and which helped spur the judge to remedy the first crime by breaking Microsoft in two, apparently had to do with Microsoft's attempt to defend itself in court. Microsoft officials have been quoted publicly - publicly - complained Judge Jackson, "to the effect that the company 'has done nothing wrong,' and that it will be vindicated on appeal. The Court is well aware that there is a substantial body of public opinion, some of rational, that holds to the same view." It's generous of the judge to acknowledge that one can disagree with him and still be considered rational. But if one assumes Microsoft still has the right to appeal, why should the judge condemn the company for saying it intends to avail itself of that right? Why should Microsoft officials change their business practices if higher courts may yet uphold them, as they have in the past?…….."

Insight Magazine 6/2/00 Henry Mark Holzer "…… Unfortunately, my former client Walter Polovchak retains the title of "The Littlest Defector," thanks to yesterday's decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which unanimously upheld the INS' rejection of Elian Gonzalez's asylum application. …….But of everything that can be said about Elian Gonzalez's story, the most important point is what the decision of the 11th Circuit says not only about Elian's rights, but about the rights of all of us in the 21st century's administrative state to which the courts slavishly defer. Federal law provides that "(a)ny alien ... may apply for asylum." Since Elian is "any alien," the syllogism's logical conclusion is that "Elian may apply for asylum." But in the world of Bill Clinton, Janet Reno, the INS, anti-anticommunism, and the 11th Circuit, logic is subordinate to what the court's opinion called "... well-established principles of statutory construction, judicial restraint, and deference to executive agencies..." In part, logic was too formidable for the 11th Circuit, which recognized Elian could apply for asylum: "The important legal question in this case, therefore, is not whether (Elian) may apply for asylum; that a six-year-old is eligible to apply for asylum is clear." But there was more: "The ultimate inquire ... is whether a six-year-old child has applied for asylum within the meaning of the statute when he, or a non-parental relative on his behalf, signs and submits a purported application against the express wishes of the child's parent." In other words, Elian could apply, but since he was only 6, how could he apply? The court said the statute doesn't say how: "(t)he statute includes no definition of the term 'apply.'" This, according to the court, is a "gap" (the court's word) in the statute, and even though it is the duty of the courts, not administrative agencies, to interpret the law, the INS has the power the fill the "gap" with its own interpretation: "The INS, in its discretion, decided to require six-year-old children - who arrive unaccompanied in the United States from Cuba - to act in immigration matters only through (absent special circumstances) their parents in Cuba." As to the INS' conclusion that no "special circumstances" were presented even though Elian's father lived in a "communist-totalitarian" state, the court held that conclusion not unreasonable even while expressly acknowledging "as a widely-accepted truth, that Cuba does violate human rights and fundamental freedoms and does not guarantee the rule of law to people living in Cuba." The court's "restraint" and "deference" to the INS was not limited to allowing the agency to fill in the "gap: to a federal statute. It extended to an across-the-board ruling that the agency had acted "reasonably" in rejecting Elian's own application, in dismissing Lazaro Gonzalez's application on the boy's behalf, in concluding that Elian's father was not being coerced by Castro, in deciding that Elian's asylum application lacked merit, in making a preliminary negative assessment of Elian's asylum claim without interviewing him, in not accepting Elian's fears of persecution were he returned to Cuba. ….. "

 

NewsMax.com 6/28/00 Paul Craig Roberts "…… Democrats in the Senate, aided by 13 turncoat Republicans, have passed legislation that creates new federal crimes that can only be committed by a White Heterosexual Able-bodied Male (WHAM). The legislation, pushed by Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., and Gordon H. Smith, R-Ore., would provide another weapon to be used against WHAMs, a non-preferred and legally isolated minority with no lobby, no voice and no political protection. The legislation would make any violent act committed against a woman, a homosexual or a disabled person a federal "hate crime." It is already a "hate crime" to commit a violent act against a "person of color." ……The Kennedy-Smith bill is race-profiling at its worst. The bill targets a specific group on the basis of race, gender and sexual orientation by labeling WHAMs with a proclivity to commit hate crimes. It is obvious from the politically correct rhetoric and the feminist and homosexual lobbies that produced the bill that the legislation does not regard those deemed in need of hate-crime protection to be among the perpetrators of such crimes. ……"

Family in Focus 6/27/00 Stuart Shepard "…..The ads proclaimed hope for homosexuals, but a federal judge said San Francisco had a "duty" to call them hate speech. The city's Board of Supervisors even claimed the ads were partially responsible for the death of Matthew Shepard and hostility toward gays. "Truth in Love" was an ad campaign, sponsored by several Christian organizations, that proclaimed homosexuals can change. ……"The dream that I thought could never happen -- having a wife and kids -- has finally come true," said one of the ads. "If you're hurting, lonely or confused, Jesus can set you free." ……The city of San Francisco concluded the ads contributed to "horrible crimes committed against gays and lesbians," and city officials asked local TV stations not to run them. ……In response, pro-family groups -- the American Family Association, the Family Research Council and Kerusso Ministries -- filed a lawsuit in October 1999 to stop the Board of Supervisors from issuing similar resolutions in the future. Earlier this month, however, a federal judge ruled the city was only doing its "duty" to address concerns for "public safety." ……"Nothing like this has ever happened in this country," said Brian Fahling, with the American Family Association's Center for Law and Policy. "This, really, is extraordinary and should give everybody great pause, because now we have a court decision -- a federal court decision -- that says governments can take official action condemning religious beliefs." ……."

Jewish World Review 6/22/00 Jeff Jacoby "…….There is no way around it: A law that cracks down harder on criminals who harm members of certain groups by definition goes easier on those who target victims from other groups. If a gang of skinheads decides to crack some black or Jewish skulls, Kennedy's bill would empower federal prosecutors to go after them. If they decide to simply crack skulls at random -- or to go after illegal immigrants or fat people or dwarfs or businessmen -- Kennedy's bill leaves them alone. ......"Equal protection of the laws must apply to all Americans," Kennedy said during the Senate debate. "That's what this is all about." ……..No, what this is all about is precisely the opposite. Equal protection means telling all would-be criminals that they will be punished fully, regardless of the identity of their victims. The bad bill passed by the Senate declares that some victims are more deserving than others. That is not a message that should be allowed to stand. ........."

NewsMax 6/24/00 Carl Limbaher "….. The Washington press corps usually goes along with the party line when it comes to Clinton administration attempts to smear witnesses, political enemies and other assorted targets of retribution. But Travelgate victim Billy Dale was different -- at least until now. …… They had worked with him for decades and knew the charges were trumped up. Several journalists, incuding ABC's Sam Donaldson, even testified on Dale's behalf. He was acquitted by a DC jury in less than two hours. …….Now that Independent Counsel Robert Ray has announced he won't be prosecuting Mrs. Clinton even for her blatant Travelgate perjury, let alone her attempts to frame an innocent man, apparently the press is taking a pass on Dale's reaction, which was quite dramatic indeed. …….. [Dale] "Ever since I was first falsely accused of improper financial practices by Hillary Rodham Clinton and others in and around the Clinton-Gore White House, I have sadly experienced a near total breakdown of our justice system. ……"While I was acquitted in record time of charges filed against me by the Clinton-Gore Justice Department, not one person in the current administration has ever apologized. Nor did they lift a hand to try and help me repair the damage done to my life. …….It therefore comes as no surprise that the Office of Independent Counsel, in the face of possible retaliation itself by the Clinton-Gore administration, has abandoned not only me but my colleagues and the American people." ……"

National Review 6/23/00 Robert A George "…….. The liberal press, frustrated that they could never "pin" anything on him, called Ronald Reagan the Teflon President. But in many ways, Bill Clinton has been the one to avoid getting nailed for his various professional misdeeds. ……… Even conservatives have to admit that, despite millions spent and two independent counsels, there is precious thin gruel when it comes to a full accounting of this administration's misdeeds. Yes, former Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker is behind bars; yes, various associates of the Clintons have been convicted, fined and imprisoned. But even that record is spotty: The Supreme Court overturned Webster Hubbell's tax-evasion conviction. ……. Actually, the great irony in eight years of the Clinton soap opera is that Bill only paid a high price (ongoing) for actions stemming from his private conduct. For Clinton's supporters, this renders the impeachment illegitimate. For those who believe in karma, it represents rough justice on a cosmic scale. ….."

Enter Stage Right - A Journal of Modern Conservatism 6/19/00 Thomas Jipping "……The Supreme Court's decision supporting parental rights was wrong. Before you start questioning my conservative credentials or firing off angry e-mails, let me explain. Conservatives have long criticized judicial activism, the approach by many judges that treats the Constitution or statutes as if they were written in disappearing ink. Activist judges recognize the parts they like, ignore the ones they don't, and simply re-write the parts they think should be updated or changed. Activist judges are the masters, rather than the servants, of the law. By exercising this kind of power that they do not legitimately have, activist judges undermine the people's right to govern themselves. ……… Attacking judicial activism is easy for conservatives when judges are using it to achieve liberal results. Like when judges re-wrote the First Amendment to prohibit not a narrow establishment of religion but a much broader endorsement of religion. ……….Conservatives also went nuts when the Supreme Court invented the right to abortion. The 14th Amendment prohibits states from depriving people of liberty without due process. In the past, judges have gone beyond this procedural emphasis and filled in the substantive meaning of "liberty" as well. That's the gimmick they use for creating so-called "unenumerated" rights. This is just a slick way of saying that the Constitution includes more than what it says and that only judges have the power to fill in the gaps. That's where the right to abortion came from……"

Nandotimes.com 7/6/00 Guy Coates "……Giving no reason, four federal judges removed themselves Wednesday from the upcoming insurance trial of former Gov. Edwin Edwards. Their surprising refusal leaves no judge in the district to hear the case. …….Among the judges who recused themselves was Frank Polozola, who presided over the case in which Edwards was convicted of racketeering. Polozola and judges James J. Brady, John Parker and Ralph Tyson gave no reason for bowing out of the case. They asked the chief judge of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to choose a judge from another federal district to preside at the August trial. ……"

Judicial Watch 7/7/00 "……Judicial Watch yesterday hand-delivered a letter to The Honorable David Souter, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, concerning the impeachment of his former colleague, David A. Brock, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire. The New Hampshire legislature is considering impeaching Chief Justice Brock for, among other things, his alleged interference in a case concerning a powerful New Hampshire politician. Press reports show that Justice Souter, when he served on the New Hampshire Supreme Court in 1987, was also involved in this case. Despite his involvement in the case, Justice Souter was the only justice from the New Hampshire Supreme Court of 1987 not to be questioned by New Hampshire legislators investigating the controversy. As Justice Souter may have relevant information to the controversy, Judicial Watch thought it in the public interest to ask him to issue a public statement about his knowledge of the matters. A copy of the letter to Justice Souter is available on the Judicial Watch Internet site at www.judicialwatch.org. "We hope that Justice Souter responds quickly to our letter. We urge Justice Souter, both in the interests of justice and in fairness to his former colleagues on the New Hampshire bench, to issue a statement to 'clear the air' of any lingering questions about any role he may have had in the scandal," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton……"

Los Angeles Times 7/7/00 David Savage "…….President Clinton has tried for seven years to appoint a black jurist to the conservative, all-white U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., but none of his nominees has been given even a hearing in the Senate. The struggle illustrates dramatically the conservative hold on power in parts of the South, legal activists said. ……..….."In fairness to the Republicans, they don't see this as a race issue but one of ideology," said University of Massachusetts professor Sheldon Goldman, who studies judicial nominations. Senate Republicans have said that they want to prevent soft-on-crime liberal activists from winning lifetime seats on the federal bench. …….."

Reuters 6/30/00 "…..Federal judges took more than a dozen expense-paid trips to seminars put on by conservative groups at resorts but failed to disclose the travel on their annual financial reports as required by federal ethics laws, the Washington Post reported on Friday. The newspaper, citing documents and interviews, said the excursions, some of which lasted two weeks and cost thousands of dollars, were devoted to discussions of economics and the environment. But the privately financed sessions also offered judges time for golf and horseback riding at the island resort and historic Western retreats where they were held. ……"

The Wall Street Journal 6/30/00 Robert Nagel "…… . . . It may be, first, that during the second half of this century, the conventions of constitutional argument loosened so much that even the justices sense that their interpretations are dangerously far from any believable version of the Constitution. Second, we live in an age of profound moral anxiety and distrust. Perhaps the justices, like many Americans, believe that their fellow citizens are potential oppressors and that democratic processes can no longer mediate deep moral disputes. Working from these dismal assumptions, the justices might see the prestige of the court in inflated terms. The demands of ideology, jurisprudence and even the Constitution begin to pale if you think your job is to protect civilization itself. ......"

CNSNews.com 6/28/00 Thomas Jipping "…………..The Court long ago abandoned using the real Constitution in deciding such cases. The First Amendment, as you know, prohibits the federal government from passing any laws involving an establishment of religion. This means the federal government may not interfere with how the states deal with religion and may not itself create an establishment of religion. That's all. ……… While the Constitution prohibits the federal government from establishing religion, the Supreme Court now prohibits a local school district from even allowing students to offer a statement that might or might not be a prayer before a football game. How did we get to this point? ……… A majority of the Court now believes that they determine what the Constitution means. For 150 years, Justices believed that those who wrote the Constitution determined what it means. All the Justices did was uncover that meaning, apply it to the facts of a case, and announce the result. This approach kept the Constitution stable, and allowed it to limit and shape what government could do. The Constitution was law that governed government. ……..Roosevelt's choice was to get control of the economy by getting control of the Constitution. He appointed Justices who believed they, and not the authors of the Constitution, could determine what the document means. That switch in strategy turned everything upside down. The Constitution no longer controlled the government; the government, through judges, controlled the Constitution. ……."

Washington Times 7/12/00 "……If, as the Justice Department charges in its oddball contempt-of-court case against Charles G. Bakaly III, the former spokesman for Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr did confirm to a New York Times reporter that President Clinton might face indictment by the independent counsel, it's hard to summon the requisite outrage to clamor for putting the man behind bars. After all, any independent counsel worth his independence might indict a target of his investigation. No one needs Deep Throat to figure that out……… This was not the first time Judge Johnson, who oversees the grand jury, had opened a leaks inquiry. Nor was it the first time the judge would be overruled on the matter…….Recall that beginning in February 1998, David Kendall, Mr. Clinton's personal lawyer, opened a daring new front in the public relations war by charging that the Office of Independent Counsel (OIC) was leaking confidential grand jury information. An appeals court ultimately judged the charges groundless, but they certainly impressed U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson, who has consistently ruled against the OIC on Mr. Kendall's leak charges. Her rulings have not exactly stood the test of time. At last count, Judge Johnson had been reined in on three separate occasions by a federal appeals court for her rather extravagant, even Kendallian readings of grand jury secrecy rules - which, if allowed to stand, would outlaw most lawyer-reporter exchanges outside lunch orders…….."

Washington Times 7/12/00 "……The New York Times article is a case in point. Having determined that the article contained no grand jury secrets, an appeals court panel unanimously overruled Judge Johnson in September 1999, thus preventing her from initiating contempt proceedings against Mr. Starr and the OIC staff. (Even the Justice Department, appointed by Judge Johnson as prosecutor against the OIC, agreed there had been no violation of grand jury secrecy rules.) So how is it that Mr. Bakaly now stands trial for charges stemming from the same article?………The answer verges on the Kakfaesque. Mr. Bakaly stands accused, not of leaking grand jury secrets, but rather of falsely denying that he gave what the Justice Department calls "nonpublic information" to a reporter - presumably concerning the possible indictment of Mr. Clinton. His lawyers contend that he was simply confirming "a truism." In their pretrial brief, they also argue that the three sworn statements in question were edited and amended against Mr. Bakaly's wishes by OIC prosecutors to reveal as little as possible to Mr. Clinton's lawyers, even to the point of suggesting that Mr. Bakaly had provided no information whatsoever to the reporter - not even a truism. Does the phrase "frivolous case" begin to form in the cranial cavity? ….."

Baltimore Sun 7/5/00 Jonathan Weisman WASHINGTON - A single U.S. District Court judge has declared President Clinton in criminal violation of federal law, held two of the president's most esteemed Cabinet secretaries in contempt of court, compared an administration official to "con artists and hooligans," and accused top White House officials of having "run amok." If former independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr was Clinton's dogged prosecutor, Royce Lamberth has become his hanging judge, the man whose courtroom has become a chamber of horrors for the White House. It's not that he has it in for this White House, Lamberth insisted. ……… "A fairer criticism is whether I'm too hard on the government, not necessarily Bill Clinton," he conceded. "I do think I hold the government to a high standard, and I think all judges should." ………Two weeks ago, Lamberth dismissed a motion by Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon to have the Tripp privacy lawsuit given to another judge. Lamberth insisted he had no biases or preconceived notions about the case, even as he decried the government's "dilatory tactics," expressed his "considerable frustration" with the Pentagon and the Justice Department, and denounced the government lawyers' "singularly unhelpful" affidavits. ...... "Whatever the merits or substance of the case, he goes off on these tirades," said Ira Magaziner, a former senior White House official who has felt the sting of Lamberth's rulings. "He cites no evidence when he does it, and he plays fast and loose with people's reputations." ……. In fact, it is not so easy to pigeonhole the flamboyant, 56-year-old Texan as a right-wing, anti-Clinton judge. Lamberth is a hero not just to Clinton critics but to dispossessed minority plaintiffs, impoverished Indian tribes, even to distraught parents looking for vengeance on terrorists. …….."

Media Research Center 7/6/00 "…..There are no liberals on the Supreme Court according to Reuters Washington DC-based reporter James Vicini in a June 30 dispatch featured on the Yahoo! news page and brought to my attention by a CyberAlert reader. Those relaying on Reuters learned from Vicini that the court is made up of three "far-right" justices, two "more moderate conservatives" and four "moderates." Here's an excerpt of the story, headlined: "High Court Ends Watershed, Election-Year Term," in which Vicini issued his labeling after allowing an ACLU lawyer to denounce the court's session for being too conservative:
....On its last day, the court by a 5-4 vote struck down a Nebraska law that banned the surgical procedure called "partial birth" abortion, ruling it placed an undue burden on a woman's right to an abortion……..Other rulings during the term upheld federal aid to parochial schools, supported the rights of the Boy Scouts to exclude gays, struck down student-led prayers at football games and reaffirmed the famous Miranda ruling that the police must tell suspects of their right to remain silent……"In pursuit of what remains a largely conservative agenda, this has become one of the most activist courts in American history," said Steven Shapiro, the national legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union………He said the court's constitutional decision making has been motivated not by a concern for individual rights, but to preserve the proper balance of power between Congress and the judiciary, and between states and the federal government……."

CNS News 7/18/00Jerry Miller "……A Vermont state representative has formed a political action committee, which she hopes will lead to the defeat of House and Senate Judiciary Committee members who supported the recently enacted civil union legislation. Although the bill, signed into law by Democratic Governor Howard Dean, does not sanction same sex marriage, critics insist it establishes what amounts to a parallel system of marriage for same-sex couples. ..."

Bridge News 7/9/00 Whitt Flora "…..At long last, a judge has come down on the side of good old common sense in the often murky, always vitriolic debate over smoking bans in restaurants and bars. Ann S. Harrington, a circuit court judge in Maryland's affluent Montgomery County, recently found the county council's smoking ban violated several county and state laws along with the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause. ……. The council's smoking ban was widely hailed by anti-smoking groups when it passed in March 1999. It was the first in the Mid-Atlantic region and among the toughest in the nation. ……..To pass the law last spring, the Montgomery council went to the extraordinary length of reconstituting itself as the Board of Health, without first obtaining needed approval from the county executive. It also failed to advertise a hearing on the proposed regulation, as required by county law. …….Judge Harrington ruled the board illegally attempted to serve as both a legislative and an executive body and also violated the equal protection clause by excluding private clubs from the smoking ban. As it turns out, about half of Montgomery County's 1,403 restaurants already ban smoking completely……."

Bridge News 7/9/00 Whitt Flora "…..There's a certain governing mindset going back to the early days of the Puritans that wants to tell other people how to live their lives. Better living though regulation, to paraphrase the old DuPont Chemical commercial. …….. While puritanical takeovers are a recurring strain in American history, they almost always have been suppressed by a freedom-craving majority. As long as we aren't harming someone else, most of us simply want to be left alone. ......,What bothers me most about the current efforts to ban smoking is they don't deal with reality. The National Press Club, for instance, has a portion of its bar area reserved for smokers, but there are remarkably few takers, perhaps one or two in a given evening. ……. I've found this to be true in restaurants that allow smoking as well. The 25 percent of Americans that polls show still smoke apparently don't do it much around non-smokers. Perhaps they all congregate behind the proverbial barn. ….."

Bridge News 7/9/00 Whitt Flora "…..Still, there are some anti-smokers who will complain at the mere sight of a lighted tobacco product. I was at a tony restaurant in super-rich Fairfax County, Va., when a woman in the next booth demanded to see the manager. When he arrived, the woman complained angrily about two men, half a football field away, who had just lighted two torpedo-shaped cigars. ……..The manager calmly explained the two men were properly seated in the smoking section and, besides, the restaurant had just spent several hundred thousand dollars on a state-of-the-art ventilation system that sucked the smoke straight up. ......... "None of their smoke will come anywhere near another guest, including people seated at the next table," the manager stated. Indeed, even from across the room one could see a spiral of smoke ascending swiftly toward the ceiling. ……The woman was far from satisfied. "I'm filing a complaint with the authorities," she said as she got up to leave. "And I'm going to have my lawyer look into it, too. This has ruined my lunch." ……It dawned on me extreme anti-smokers aren't really as concerned about the altruistic pleasure of improving someone's life as they are about the self-indulgent thrill they get from controlling someone else's. …….."

CBN News 6/19/00 Dale Hurd "…..Investigators want to know if, behind the placid-looking exterior of the U.S. District Courthouse in Washington, D.C., something fishy might be going on. At the heart of the controversy is Chief U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson. ……… It's been learned that Judge Johnson abandoned a computer-generated, random system of assigning cases, to personally assign at least six Clinton-Gore and Democratic Party corruption cases to Clinton-appointed judges….

* U.S. vs. Trie was assigned to Clinton appointee, U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman. Friedman ruled in favor of Democratic Party fundraiser Charlie Trie. It was reversed on appeal. Trie then pleaded guilty.
* U.S vs. Hsia was also assigned to Friedman. Friedman dismissed the case against Maria Hsia, in the Al Gore-Buddhist Temple fundraising scandal. It was reversed on appeal.
* U.S. vs. Hubbell was assigned to Clinton appointee, U.S. District Judge James Robertson. It was Ken Starr's tax evasion case against Clinton friend and Whitewater figure Webster Hubbell. Robertson dismissed the case. It was reversed on appeal. The Supreme Court upheld Robertson's decision, but did not adopt his strong language condemning the tactics of the Office of Independent Counsel.
* U.S. vs. Glicken was assigned to Clinton-appointee, U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy. Miami businessman Howard Glicken, an Al Gore fundraiser, pleaded guilty to two fundraiser misdemeanors and asked for leniency. Glicken was given only community service work and probation.
* U.S. vs. Kanchanalak was assigned to Judge Friedman. Friedman postponed the trial against Thai Lobbyist Pauline Kanchanalak until after the November election.
* U.S. vs. Jimenez was given to Clinton-appointee, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, then reassigned to Judge Friedman. Miami fundraiser Mark Jimenez fled the country after being accused of making illegal contributions to Clinton and other Democratic candidates. He is still a fugitive.

CBN News 6/19/00 Dale Hurd "…..For example, Johnson personally assigned the Webster Hubbell tax evasion case to Clinton-appointee Judge James Robertson, who ruled in Hubbell's favor. She assigned the Charlie Trie fundraising case to Clinton-appointee Judge Paul Friedman, who ruled in Trie's favor. Both decisions were reversed on appeal, although the Supreme Court upheld Robertson's ruling on Hubbell. …….."

CBN News 6/19/00 Dale Hurd "…..The Justice Department even admitted that Johnson asked them to formally ask her to assign the Maria Hsia fundraising case to Clinton-appointee Friedman, who dismissed the charges. Sources inside the court leaked word to the media, and that's when members of Congress learned of it....... "I'm surprised that the judges took the cases. I mean, if I were a Clinton-appointed judge assigned these cases out of order, I would say, I don't need that," says law professor Ronald Rotunda, who worked in Kenneth Starr's Office of Independent Counsel……."

CBN News 6/19/00 Dale Hurd "….."It's possible under the rules, or was possible, to pull a case out of the random assignment system and give it to another judge," continues Rotunda. "Judge Sirica did that during the Watergate era, but Judge Sirica did it publicly, he announced what he was doing, and he never gave the case to a Nixon-appointed judge."……… "

CBN News 6/19/00 Dale Hurd "…..Rotunda comments, "A stopped clock is right twice a day. The fact is she is batting both zero and a thousand. Whenever she ruled in favor of the Office of Independent Council, she was never reversed. And whenever she ruled against the Office of Independent Council, she was reversed, once by mandamus, it is for abuse of discretion."…….. And Rotunda says even when Johnson ruled in favor of the Office of Independent Counsel, she continually hamstrung Ken Starr's investigation with her rulings, particularly her gag orders……. "

CBN News 6/19/00 Dale Hurd "…..Madigan says there was a good reason why Johnson did not answer congressional queries into her actions. "To answer them would have violated the constitutional separation of powers," says Madigan. Rotunda disagrees. "That's nonsense. We have the Senate and House investigating the other branches all the time. There is no separation of powers argument. I think if the judges have nothing to hide, they ought to prove it by hiding nothing. Refusing to testify, refusing to tell your side of the story, is not normally what you do if you have a good story to tell," Rotunda says……..And before Johnson hired Madigan, court sources say she called at least three clerk's office employees into her chambers and questioned them about their recollections of the case assignment process. Rotunda says that smacks of witness tampering……."

CBN News 6/19/00 Dale Hurd "…..The investigation is very serious. The claims could be dismissed, or Judge Johnson could be reprimanded or asked to retire from the bench. At least part of the suspicion of Johnson is generated by suspicion of the White House. This is an administration that many believe has tried to manipulate the judicial branch for its own ends. It fired every U.S. attorney in the nation in order to replace each of them with its own. It hired a private investigator, Terry Lenzner, who reportedly did not deny that he was collecting files on judges. It attacked U.S District Judge Royce Lamberth a few months ago, publicly calling him a "loose cannon" when he ruled against President Clinton in the Kathleen Willey case. ….."

 

 

 

Cleveland Plain Dealer 7/14/00 E J Dionne Jr "……Attacks on "the imperial judiciary" were once the stuff of conservative arguments against a "liberal activist" Supreme Court. That is about to change. In a shift that is momentous in historical and political terms, liberals are beginning to sound alarms about conservative justices using states' rights and other doctrines to void environmental, economic and social legislation. The liberal fear is that the Supreme Court is marching back to its pre-New Deal days when justices relied on strict interpretations of property and contract rights - and narrow interpretations of governmental authority - to strike down laws on wages, hours and other forms of business regulation. …….. The first signs of the new disposition have come on relatively narrow issues. This year, the court struck down a law that allowed the victims of rape and domestic violence to sue their attackers in federal court. The court said this was a state issue. It also said state employees couldn't use federal laws to bring age discrimination suits against their state governments. ………."

WorldNetDaily.com 8/8/00 "…..Following the Supreme Court's recent rulings on abortion, homosexual rights, school prayer, and parental rights, most Americans (at least for the moment) believe that judicial appointments are an important presidential campaign issue. Indeed they are. No legislative agenda -- liberal or conservative -- is safe without judges who know their proper place. Unfortunately, Republicans have failed to establish a winning record on this issue. Senate Republican leaders may not have a strategy for most things, but their strategy for dealing with President Clinton's judicial nominees is called "Let's Make A Deal." As of August 1, Mr. Clinton had appointed 369 judges, just nine shy of President Reagan's appointment record. Though Mr. Reagan faced a Senate of his own party for six years, Mr. Clinton has appointed judges at a faster rate while facing an "opposition" Senate for six years. Since becoming the majority, Republicans have handed Mr. Clinton a 240 to 1 judicial appointment run. ......"

Manchester Union Leader 7/24/00 Steven Swan "…….The Senate impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice David A. Brock concerns much more than simply the transgressions of Justice Brock. It also concerns the usurpations of power by the judicial branch of government and it could have national implications if it is not contained. The constitutions of the federal government and the state of New Hampshire provide for three separate branches of government to act as a set of checks and balances upon each other. ……The legislative branch of government is supposed to have the most power because the legislators are elected directly by and answerable directly to the people, for whom the government itself was established. The executive branch is supposed to be the second most powerful because a few of its leaders are elected by the people. And the judicial branch of government is supposed to be the least powerful. However, the judicial branch has been usurping power away from the other two branches since our country and state came into being. Lawyers (who as officers of the court are members of the judicial branch of government) comprise the only class of citizens who can serve in two branches simultaneously. ."

The Atlantic 7/25/00 Stuart Taylor "…… "A democratic vote by nine lawyers." That was one of Justice Antonin Scalia's angry dissenting flourishes last month. He was talking about the Supreme Court's decision on "the pure policy question" of whether the procedure that opponents call "partial-birth" abortion should be banned -- as hundreds of elected officials in 31 states had tried to do until five Justices swept their laws aside. In another case, Scalia likened the Court to "some sort of nine-headed Caesar." ......The nagging question is why we have a superlegislature at all. Astute critics of moderate and liberal persuasions have lately joined conservatives in raising that question, as Justices across the ideological spectrum have imposed "constitutional" rules that become ever-harder to connect to anything in the Constitution. ......:

Washington Post 7/21/00 Helen Dewar "….. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), under fire from President Clinton and the Congressional Black Caucus for his handling of minority and female nominees to the federal bench, lashed back yesterday at what he called "race-baiting politics." …..Clinton sharply criticized Senate Republicans for blocking the nominations of five black and Latino judges to federal appeals courts. "The president's reckless and unfounded accusation of bias has encouraged others to make even more reckless and more unfounded charges," Hatch said, referring to the black caucus, which earlier this week said Senate Republicans' treatment of nominees demonstrated racist and sexist tendencies………"

New York Times 8/19/00 "…..A lawsuit brought by Linda R. Tripp against the government has been taken away from a judge who has been critical of the Clinton administration and given to a judge appointed by President Clinton. Three federal judges appointed by Mr. Clinton took the lawsuit away from the first judge, Royce C. Lamberth of Federal District Court, a Reagan appointee, and randomly assigned the case by computer. The computer assigned it to Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, one of the three judges on the calendar committee who had taken the case away from Judge Lamberth. …….. The transfer of the case drew strong objections from lawyers for Mrs. Tripp, whose secret tape recordings of Monica S. Lewinsky led to the impeachment crisis. ……. Last September when Mrs. Tripp's lawyers filed the lawsuit, they asked that the case be given to Judge Lamberth on the ground that it was related to a suit already before him involving hundreds of former appointees from Republican administrations whose F.B.I. files had been collected by the Clinton White House. ……."

Associated Press 8/17/00 Pete Yost "…..Three federal judges appointed by President Clinton took a lawsuit filed by Linda Tripp away from a Reagan appointee, and randomly assigned the case by computer to one of themselves, court records show. The three, Emmet Sullivan, Paul Friedman and Gladys Kessler, run the calendar committee that controls the docket at the U.S. District Courthouse. In a five-page order dated Aug. 11, they said the year-old Tripp suit never should have been directed to U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth. The court sent a copy of the ruling to Tripp's lawyers Wednesday. …… Sullivan is now overseeing the lawsuit. It ended up in his hands as a result of the calendar committee's decision to put the Tripp case through a computer process that randomly selects judges for cases. ……."

Associated Press 8/17/00 Pete Yost "…..The decision to remove the case from Lamberth's control comes amid a judicial investigation into why the chief federal judge in the District of Columbia, Norma Holloway Johnson, bypassed the computer system and directed half a dozen criminal prosecutions of campaign fund-raisers and friends of Clinton and Vice President Al Gore to Clinton-appointed judges. The Judicial Council, which oversees judges' conduct, took the rare step of hiring a former U.S. attorney to investigate the matter. That investigation is in its fourth month. The Associated Press first reported Johnson's decision to bypass the random assignment system last year. Johnson directed several of the fund-raising prosecutions to Friedman, one of the three judges who took the Tripp case away from Lamberth. ……."

Associated Press 8/17/00 Pete Yost "…..Getting Tripp's lawsuit out of Lamberth's courtroom was a victory for the Clinton administration and Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon. ......... "We believe the reassignment of Mrs. Tripp's case from Judge Lamberth to another judge is prejudicial and will result in unnecessary work and duplication by the new judge assigned to Mrs. Tripp's case," her attorneys argued. ......In September, when Tripp's lawyers filed the lawsuit, they asked that the case be given to Lamberth on the grounds that it was related to a Judicial Watch suit involving hundreds of former appointees from Republican administrations whose FBI background files were collected by the Clinton White House. Related cases ordinarily are assigned to the same judge to ensure the most efficient use of judicial resources. ……"

CNN 8/11/00"….. A federal judge Friday issued a temporary restraining order that bars Los Angeles police from the headquarters of protesters who plan demonstrations during next week's Democratic National Convention unless they have a search warrant.   U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson's ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed Thursday by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of protest groups D2KLA, the Direct Action Network and the Los Angeles Coalition to Stop the Execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal, as well as the National Lawyers Guild.  The lawsuit alleged the police were unlawful in the surveillance of people at the center, copying their license plates as they entered and exited the four-story building on the outskirts of the downtown area, about two miles from the Staples Center, where the Democrats' convention is to begin Monday. ……"

Washington Weekly 8/21/00 Marvin Lee ".....Three federal judges appointed by President Clinton took a lawsuit filed by Linda Tripp away from Reagan appointee Royce Lamberth, and randomly assigned the case by computer to one of themselves, according to the Associated Press......... .... The earliest cases against the Clinton administration (Healthcaregate, Filegate and Commercegate) were randomly assigned to Judge Lamberth where they have mushroomed as new witnesses and whistleblowers have come forward and testified about cover-up and obstruction of justice by the White House. The lawsuit by Linda Tripp against the Pentagon and the White House was filed as related to the Filegate suit and accepted as such by Judge Lamberth because Tripp alleges that information from her FBI file was used by the White House to steer reporter Jane Mayer to ask questions about Tripp's past and to compare her personnel form from the Pentagon with her FBI file. Lamberth accepted the case over the shrill protest of the White House. It would seem that the White House has now pulled some strings at the Court to reverse Lamberth's decision......."

New York Times 9/5/00 AP "…..The federal judge who tried to release the fired nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee from jail on $1 million bail says he is no longer convinced that Dr. Lee downloaded some of the country's most sensitive nuclear secrets. Judge James Parker of Federal District Court, in an unsealed opinion released late on Friday, offered for the first time details of his reasons for wanting Dr. Lee released. "What the government described in December 1999 as the 'crown jewels' of the United States nuclear weapons program no longer is so clearly deserving of that label," Judge Parker wrote. ……. Dr. Lee was to have been released on Friday from the Santa Fe County jail, where he has been kept since December. But an appeals court halted his release at the last minute while it considered an appeal from the government. …….. Judge Parker, who set strict conditions on Dr. Lee's release, including electronic monitoring and a phone tap, was critical of the appellate court's decision. He said he would have rejected the government's request for a delay if the appellate court had not intervened. …….. ".

The Daily Oklahoman 9/1/00 "……..WERE a white judge to overtly increase the number of white people as potential jurors in the case of a white man accused of killing a black man, there would be an immediate cry of outrage and calls for the judge's removal from office. This week in Oklahoma County a black judge overtly tampered with a jury pool because she believed a black defendant faced trial before a jury that was too white. In what's been called an unprecedented decision, District Judge Susan Bragg decided that a pool of jurors selected at random was not black enough. Incredibly, Bragg admitted that she didn't know if case law supports her decision. She just thought it was the right thing to do…….. The right thing to do? Is it her job to determine the "right" thing to do or is it to uphold the law? Is it her job to bring a racial quota system to county juries or is it to make sure an impartial jury is seated to hear evidence? In any case, it appears there's ample case law to determine that Bragg's decision was improper……"

Foxnews 8/22/00 Ian Hopper "……The special prosecutor tasked to investigate Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt released her final report Tuesday, explaining why she had previously found insufficient evidence to prosecute him. The investigation stemmed from allegations that Babbitt rejected a proposed Indian casino because of campaign contributions and then lied to Congress about it. The report, over 600 pages long, was met with sharp words from the chairman of the House committee Babbitt testified to, and relief from Babbitt's office that the ordeal is finally over. Government Reform Committee Chairman Dan Burton, R-Ind., said he was disappointed at statements in the report that Babbitt conceded to a grand jury that some of his sworn statements "either were not entirely accurate or at least constituted 'overstatement.''' "I am very disturbed that a cabinet official would come before my committee and give false testimony,'' Burton said in a statement. …….. To the grand jury, Babbitt described some of his testimony as hyperbole, and occasionally was "paraphrasing and summarizing and overstating in an argumentative way'' to a hostile committee. ……"

The New American 8/25/00 William Norman Grigg "…… In the aftermath of the Waco and Ruby Ridge bloodlettings, it is becoming clear that federal paramilitaries enjoy something akin to impunity in the exercise of lethal force. Last June, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi, who played a role in both of those episodes, could not be charged with manslaughter for killing Vicki Weaver, who was struck in the head by a round from Horiuchi's rifle during the Ruby Ridge standoff. In its decision, the court cited "Supremacy Clause immunity" as its rationale for dismissing the charges against the FBI sniper. ……. Judge Alex Kozinski, in a scalding dissent, denounced the court's decision for creating a "007 standard" - a reference to James Bond's discretionary "license to kill." "Because the 007 standard for the use of deadly force now applies to all law enforcement agencies in our circuit - federal, state, and local - it should make us all feel less secure," concluded Judge Kozinski. "In an effort to protect a defendant who lost his head and acted in a patently unconstitutional manner, the majority has materially weakened the standard and heretofore constrained all law enforcement personnel in the Ninth Circuit." …… Kozinski errs only in saying that the "007 standard" applies to "all law enforcement agencies"; apparently, only federal agents are thus consecrated. When law enforcement officers at the state or local level are accused of brutality or other serious crimes - particularly in racially charged episodes, such as the Rodney King arrest and the tragic shooting of Amadou Diallo - they are generally required to answer the accusations in a court of law. In the Rodney King case, an acquittal in the original trial provoked the feds to circumnavigate the Constitution's double jeopardy provisions in order to send two of the four Los Angeles police officers to prison. ……."

The New American 8/25/00 William Norman Grigg "……. In the aftermath of the Waco and Ruby Ridge bloodlettings, it is becoming clear that federal paramilitaries enjoy something akin to impunity in the exercise of lethal force. Last June, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi, who played a role in both of those episodes, could not be charged with manslaughter for killing Vicki Weaver, who was struck in the head by a round from Horiuchi's rifle during the Ruby Ridge standoff. In its decision, the court cited "Supremacy Clause immunity" as its rationale for dismissing the charges against the FBI sniper. ......... Judge Alex Kozinski, in a scalding dissent, denounced the court's decision for creating a "007 standard" - a reference to James Bond's discretionary "license to kill." "Because the 007 standard for the use of deadly force now applies to all law enforcement agencies in our circuit - federal, state, and local - it should make us all feel less secure," concluded Judge Kozinski. "In an effort to protect a defendant who lost his head and acted in a patently unconstitutional manner, the majority has materially weakened the standard and heretofore constrained all law enforcement personnel in the Ninth Circuit." …….."

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 8/26/00 Meredith Oakley "……I never thought I'd live to see jurists completely losing their cool and hollering like fishwives from the bench in open court, as did U.S. District Judge Henry Woods recently in a resentencing hearing……. He seemed to take it personally when an appellate court panel upheld a misdemeanor civil rights conviction out of his court but nonetheless sent the case back to him with the admonition that Woods should reconsider the standard he used in sentencing…… The panel thought he just might want to increase that sentence upon applying the proper standard, which the appellate judges believed he had not the first time around……. Woods had given Independence County Sheriff Ron Webb a 10-month sentence upon his being found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman who'd gone to him for help in enforcing a restraining order against her husband……..What was it Woods screamed out, nearly coming out of his seat, while reimposing the 10-month sentence that the appellate panel had criticized? Not "I'm kind of thumbing my nose at them," meaning the appellate panel, although he said that, too. No, what he shouted out to the utter shock of many in the courtroom was this: "It ain't the crime of the century! It ain't even a felony!"……. Shock and dismay hardly describe my reaction. I have often been disgusted by Henry Woods' rulings, but this is the first time I have ever been disgusted by him. He not only acted injudiciously, he acted like a pig, and he ought to be ashamed of himself……"

Capital Hill Blue/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 8/21/00 Meg Kissinger "...... Richard Cudahy, accidental man in the middle of the latest political firestorm, doesn't act or sound like someone singed from the glare of limelight. ...... "I'm still breathing," said Cudahy, a federal appeals court judge in Chicago, in a telephone interview from his Winnetka, Ill., home on Saturday, where he picked up the phone between errands. ...... Cudahy inadvertently dropped a political bombshell on Thursday when he mentioned to an Associated Press reporter that a new grand jury had been impaneled by the independent counsel investigating President Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky. ....... The media and, consequently, many in the public, automatically assumed that it was some Republican operative who must have leaked the story in an effort to embarrass the Democrats on the very day that their nominee, Vice President Al Gore, was making his big acceptance speech at his party's convention in Los Angeles. ........ Appointed to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 1979 by President Carter, Cudahy once served as chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party. The grandson of Patrick Cudahy, of meatpacking fame, Cudahy is known for his sharp wit, keen intellect and gracious manners. A graduate of Milwaukee Country Day School, West Point Military Academy and Yale University Law School, he served as chairman of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, and once considered running for mayor of Milwaukee. ...... In 1989, a study of government records by the Associated Press named his the wealthiest federal judge in the country with a net worth of at least $8.4 million. Has he been roundly scolded for his loose lips? "Not as much I probably will be," he said. ......"

Washington Weekly 8/21/00 Marvin Lee ".....Even more evidence of the relatedness of the Filegate suit and the Tripp suit surfaced in the court of Judge Lamberth just last week. [Body Count lists left for both Haas and Tripp} ....This indirect threat of assassination of those who do not follow the code of "omerta" is obviously the hallmark of the Clinton Mob -- the more reason for Lamberth to hear her case and pursue it to its bitter end wherever it may lead. But that will not happen now that a Clinton-appointed judge will have an opportunity to throw it out of court before any damaging evidence is discovered, if past Clinton cases before Clinton-appointed judges are to be used as a guide......"

Boston Herald 9/13/00 Cosmo Macero Jr. and Jose Martinez "……. An angry District Attorney Ralph C. Martin yesterday said efforts to discredit the 12-year-old boy molested by a transsexual are ``disgraceful'' evidence of cultural bias. ……. ``What makes this victim any less legitimate than a victim from one of the toniest suburbs?'' Martin said at a press conference. ``It's disgraceful. If this was a middle class kid, would you be feeding into the same whispering campaign?'' ……. Questions about the boy's version of the sexual attack surfaced last week as supporters of Judge Maria I. Lopez defended her decision to give admitted molester Charles ``Ebony'' Horton, 22, house arrest instead of jail time. ...... Martin's outburst came just hours after Lopez showed the first signs of buckling under a week-old blizzard of outrage at her no-jail sentence for Horton. A day after Gov. Paul Cellucci called for Lopez to be pulled from any criminal cases, the judge stepped aside from a drug case in Middlesex Superior Court after the defense lawyer requested a closed-court hearing. ``Given the scrutiny on her right now, she didn't think it would be prudent to conduct a closed hearing,'' said court spokeswoman Joan Kenney. ......"

Freedom Forum 9/11/00 "……. SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - When the man who tried to kill Bobby Jo Wilson bought new shoes and latex gloves, he didn't come up with the idea on his own, according to a lawsuit she has filed……. Wilson is suing Paladin Press of Boulder, Colo., saying the company published a book - Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors - that the hired killer used as a guide for the attack two years ago. Wilson seeks at least $4.5 million in damages from Paladin Press, which also publishes such titles as The Anarchist Cookbook, Be Your Own Undertaker: How to Dispose of a Dead Body and Silencers for Hand Firearms……… Wilson's federal lawsuit is similar to one in Maryland that triggered national concerns about free-speech rights of publishers, video game creators and movie producers……. Two Maryland families filed that suit after their relatives were murdered by a man who also allegedly followed directions set forth in Paladin's Hit Man……… Citing the First Amendment, a judge threw out the Maryland lawsuit, saying the book was protected speech and that printed words are so far removed from action that a book can't incite lawless activity. But the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated Paladin Enterprises v. Rice, ruling that the book was a blueprint for crime…….."

CNN 9/12/00 AP "……Anti-abortion activists are asking a federal appeals court to overturn a $109 million verdict by a jury that decided a Web site and posters listing the names of abortion doctors and clinics were threats that went beyond free speech. …… The case is widely seen as a test of a Supreme Court ruling that defined a threat as explicit language likely to cause "imminent lawless action" -- and a measure of how far anti-abortion activists can go in harrying doctors and clinics. …… Oral arguments in the appeal are scheduled Tuesday before a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. At issue is a Web site called "The Nuremberg Files" that listed hundreds of abortion doctors accused of committing "crimes against humanity" and invited readers to send in doctors' addresses, license plate numbers and even the names of their children. …….Last year, the dozen anti-abortion activists argued the posters and Web site were free speech protected under the First Amendment. Critics called it a hit list. ……"

Abcnews 9/8/00 AP "……Lawyers are rallying around a judge who sentenced a man to one year of home detention after he pleaded guilty to kidnapping and trying to rape a 12-year-old boy. Superior Court Judge Maria Lopez on Wednesday sentenced Charles Horton, 32, to wear an electronic ankle bracelet, with permission to attend school and counseling. The decision stirred the ire of Gov. Paul Cellucci, who will examine Lopez"s record for a pattern of leniency. Meanwhile, other community leaders demand a hearing which could force Lopez to step down from the bench. …….. "This is a disturbing decision," Cellucci said Thursday. "It is every parent"s worst nightmare: Your young child gets snatched up by a stranger, lured away, and assaulted. ... Instead of protecting the defendant from the prosecutors, the judge should be protecting the public from the defendant." Prosecutors had sought a sentence of eight to 10 years in jail, plus 10 years of probation. An advocate for transgendered people, Penni Matz, said Horton was being singled out. "It was a `We have to stop these freaks from doing this" sort of thing, and I think (the judge) responded appropriately to it," Matz said. Lopez defended her decision in a statement. "There were certain facts before me known by both the prosecutors and the district attorney that were part of the plea conference and cannot be revealed by me, but would undoubtedly change the characterization of the case as currently reported by some media outlets," Lopez said. …… Those facts include a social worker"s report that Horton acknowledged guilt, was remorseful and not a predator, according to Bill Leahy, chief counsel at the public defenders office. "This was not a total stranger event," Leahy said. "This is a little different from a stranger coming down the street and snatching your kid." Horton admitted to luring the boy into his car Nov. 20 while dressed as a woman by asking him to help him find "her" son, and holding a screwdriver to the boy"s neck while forcing him to simulate sex acts. ……"

AP 9/8/00 "…….A man whose bid to become a police officer was rejected after he scored too high on an intelligence test has lost an appeal in his federal lawsuit against the city. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld a lower court's decision that the city did not discriminate against Robert Jordan because the same standards were applied to everyone who took the test. "This kind of puts an official face on discrimination in America against people of a certain class," Jordan said from his Waterford home Friday. "I maintain you have no more control over your basic intelligence than your eye color or your gender or anything else." ……."

Augusta Chronicle 9/10/00 "……President Clinton is at it again, talking about making federal hate-crime legislation a focal point of his final days in office. He first started his campaign against so-called hate crimes after the 1998 brutal beating death of Matt Shephard, a 21-year-old gay Wyoming man, and the dragging death of James Byrd, a 49-year-old Texas African-American. Both of those crimes were heinous, but no more so than, for instance, the savage random beatings and murders that take place every day. ….There should be no special category for hate crimes, yet Republicans will be painted as the bad guys for saying so. Hate-crime legislation will do nothing to lessen people's bigotry. Only education will do that. …..No matter what their color, gender, ethnic background, religion or sexual orientation, all Americans deserve equal protection under the law. Making hate crimes more punishable than other crimes diminishes victims who are not part of some group the government has selected for special protection. That isn't right and in America, under our U.S. Constitution, it just won't stand. ….."

Boston Herald 9/9/00 Cosmo Macero Jr. amd Marie Szaniszlo "……Superior Court Judge Maria Lopez, under withering fire for freeing a transsexual after he admitted molesting a 12-year-old boy, yesterday scrambled behind the scenes to defuse a drive to remove her from the bench. ``She's fighting back,'' one source said of Lopez. ``She called (one) detective today and asked the detective to come forward.'' …… Lopez, in a statement released Thursday, alluded to unspecified mitigating circumstances she said justified Horton's sentence of one year home detention and five years' probation. Horton pleaded guilty to kidnapping, attempted rape of a child, indecent assault and assault with a dangerous weapon. ``If she's suggesting there's mitigating circumstances in this case, why did she allow the defendant to plea to all the charges?'' Martin said yesterday. …….. Said Martin's spokesman, James Borghesani: ``There's been no information, ever, that suggested this crime was anything less than what's been described in court by the prosecution. This is nothing but damage control, pure and simple.'' …….. ``I am outraged,'' Menino said. ``Judge Lopez's decision has left the young people of one of our largest public housing communities in jeopardy.'' …….. "

Associated Press 8/31/00 Kelly Shannon "……With his sweeping rulings, William Wayne Justice forced Texas to desegregate its schools, reform its prisons and educate undocumented immigrant children. Now the liberal federal judge known for his soft-spoken style and fierce commitment to the U.S. Constitution is taking on the state's Medicaid program. Justice, 80, ruled this month that Texas has not lived up to a 1996 agreement to make major changes in its Medicaid system. He has ordered the state to improve access for children and fix other problems in medical coverage for low-income Texans. "This is right in line with his history, and he's always taken a really hard look at how those who are most vulnerable in our society are treated and set some pretty high standards for it," said Lisa McGiffert, a senior policy analyst with the Austin office of Consumers Union, a consumer advocacy group……."

Boston Herald 9/17/00 Jose Martinez and Tom Mashberg "…….Depending on whom you ask, Charles ``Ebony'' Horton is either a wily manipulator who gains mileage and sympathy from his contradictory sexual status, or a troubled would-be woman who was ``scared straight'' after his encounter with the law. The ``transgendered person'' at the center of a judicial and political firestorm lives as confused and complex a life as can be imagined for any 22-year-old. He is a 5-foot-6-inch tall, 135-pound black man with breasts and lipstick who dresses in halter tops and lives in subsidized housing in ``the projects'' of South Boston. …… He attended the Muriel Snowden International School on Newbury Street, known for its focus on foreign languages and theater arts, and worked at the Liberty Book II store on Washington Street, known for its pornographic wares and peep shows. …… Neither Horton nor his family, including his mother, sister and aunt, would comment on his life. Others who know him say he arrived in Dorchester as an infant, grew up in a broken home, lost his father when he was 12 to drug addiction and illness, and has dealt with depression, ridicule and sexual confusion since childhood. …….. One former classmate, who now lives not far from Horton's apartment inside the Mary Ellen McCormack Housing Development in South Boston, recalled noticing how ``pretty'' Horton was at the Taft Middle School in Brighton - long before he began taking female hormone shots. ……..Before Horton dropped out of Snowden, which is near Copley Square, in 1998, some say the senior had become an infrequent but disruptive student who regularly used his transgendered identity as a trump card against authority. English teacher Michael O'Neil, now retired, recalled how Horton once reported him to the headmaster because he refused to call him ``Ebony'' or ``Chocolate.'' Several other teachers also found themselves the target of Horton's complaints to administrators. ``I told everyone I would call him Charles or Mr. Horton, but not until I had an official document saying he had changed his name would I call him Ebony or Chocolate,'' O'Neil said. …….``What a dreadful pain in the (expletive),'' O'Neil said. ``He was the most unbelievably manipulative person you ever met. He had the administration eating out of his hand.'' ……… Horton later qualified for subsidized housing and disability income because of his transgender status, and thus obtained an apartment at the McCormack and a federal stipend. To bolster it, Horton's jobs included telemarketing and working at Liberty Book as an exotic dancer…….."

Boston Globe 9/16/00 Ric Kahn "……He is 12 years old, and he smokes like a chimney, swears like a sailor. Yet, if the boy in the middle of the Charles ''Ebony'' Horton attempted rape case is as wired into the underground world as those defending Horton's light sentence contend, it's news to the friends who hang out with the boy near the second-floor apartment he shares with his mother and siblings in a bustling three-decker in the Four Corners section of Dorchester. …….. If he is as hooked into the street life as Horton's defenders suggest, police have no record of it. The boy has never been arrested for anything, records show. In fact, those who know him describe a city boyhood like many others: Hanging out with friends, sticking up for a younger brother, bragging about girlfriends, and tagging along with older street toughs. ……..The other day, the boy acted like any other 12-year-old, laughing and popping wheelies on a bicycle before scooting away from a reporter who wanted to interview him about his encounter with the man with breasts alternately known as Charles ''Ebony'' Horton and Ebony ''Charles'' Horton. ……"

The Cape Cod Times 9/13/00 John McElhenny "…..Superior Court Judge Maria I. Lopez said Wednesday she has asked to be removed from all criminal cases for the rest of the month amid controversy over her sentencing of an admitted child molester to home confinement instead of prison. Lopez, who had been scheduled to hear only civil cases in October, November and December, said Wednesday she had requested fielding only civil cases in September, too. "Due to the nature of criminal practice and procedure, I have concluded that I should not sit on criminal cases at this time," Lopez said in a statement. Lopez' statement came hours after the top Republican in the House of Representatives filed a bill that would begin the process of removing Lopez from the bench. ……."

Boston Herald 9/14/00 Tom Mashberg Jose Martinez "….. Charles ``Ebony'' Horton admits he ``did something very wrong'' in sexually assaulting a 12-year-old boy, but yesterday insisted he is ``not the awful, evil person some say I am.'' In a statement to the Herald, Horton, 22, a South Boston resident who is male but has dressed and acted as a female since childhood, said he ``made a terrible mistake'' when he lured the boy into a sexual encounter in his car last Nov. 20. ``I regret it very, very much,'' Horton said. ``I am being punished for what I did. ``I have been struggling with being transgendered all my life,'' the 5-foot, 6-inch, 135-pound Horton said. ``I know I need to work with counselors and therapists, and I will do that. My sincere desire is to become a productive member of society and to make sure that this will never happen again.'' …….Last week, Horton was sentenced to one year's house arrest in his South Boston housing project and five years' probation by Superior Court Judge Maria I. Lopez, a decision that has ignited a firestorm of political criticism. …….Horton pleaded guilty to crimes that included kidnapping the boy, threatening him with a screwdriver, sexual assault and attempted rape. Since then, Horton's supporters have insisted that although language in the plea bargain implies that Horton is a vicious predator, he is not violent but rather deeply misguided and in need of psychological help. ……."

Boston Herald 9/12/00 Cosmo Macero Jr "…… Gov. Paul Cellucci yesterday lashed out at supporters of Superior Court Judge Maria Lopez for what he called their ``repulsive'' effort to ``re-victimize'' a 12-year-old boy who was molested by a transsexual who Lopez set free. With state lawmakers drawing up papers to begin recall proceedings against Lopez, Cellucci said the embattled judge should be given light duty while her future on the bench is pondered by an outraged public. ``I don't think that Judge Lopez should be sitting on any criminal cases,'' said Cellucci, whose fury over the release of 22-year-old Charles ``Ebony'' Horton grew substantially over the weekend. ``I'm pretty outraged. This effort ... to re-victimize this 12-year-old child - it's not right and it ought to stop,'' Cellucci said. ``It's repulsive. They're trying to make it look like this boy did something wrong. He didn't do anything wrong. He's the victim of a serious violent crime.'' ……"

Boston Herald 9/12/00 AP "…… Superior Court Judge Maria Lopez -- under fire for her lenient sentence of an accused child molester -- stepped down from a criminal drug case today. She took the action after an attorney for a man charged with cocaine possession asked for a hearing that would be closed to the public. ``Given the scrutiny on her right now, she didn't think it would be prudent to conduct a closed hearing,'' said Joan Kenney, a spokeswoman for the state courts…… The case, in Middlesex Superior Court in Cambridge, was referred to another judge. …….. Last week, Lopez sentenced Charles Horton, 22, of Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, to one year of home detention instead of the prison sentence requested by prosecutors. Horton, a transsexual, admitted to luring the 12-year-old boy into his car Nov. 20 while dressed as a woman. Horton had asked the 12-year-old to help find ``her'' son, and then held a screwdriver to the boy's neck while forcing him to simulate sex acts, prosecutors said. ......"

 

Claremont Institute via e-mail 9/28/00 Ben Boychuk "……. Law, in the eyes of American Civil Liberties Union, is a weapon. It is the means by which the power of government is molded and the freedom of the people is shaped for the ACLU's purposes. This is the only explanation for the ACLU's continuing war against that free association of young Americans known as the Boy Scouts. Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Scouts' First Amendment right to set the moral parameters for membership in their organization. …."

Jewish World Review 10/6/00 Nat Hentoff "……. IN HIS BOUNTIFUL acceptance speech, Al Gore cited as an urgent priority the expansion of federal hate-crime laws -- thereby encouraging even more states to enact legislation that would impose additional prison time for so-called bias crimes....Now, in New York State, those convicted of assault motivated by race, religion, gender, sexual preference or age will serve substantially more years in prison than they would have if their crimes had not been committed because of any of these prejudices....This -- the Supreme Court notwithstanding -- violates the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. But it looks as though the Senate will pass the Local Law Enforcement Act of 2000, a bill that will expand the scope of what is considered a hate crime……"

AP via Newsday.com 10/4/00 Anne Gearan "…..Poor people can get free legal help from a government-funded lawyer on matters such as child custody, unemployment benefits and bankruptcy. But a law Congress passed along with welfare reform in 1996 bars that lawyer from assisting a poor client's challenge to the Clinton administration's welfare reform program. …… A Supreme Court challenge heard Wednesday calls that restriction an unconstitutional gag order, although the wrenching political fight over what the White House called ''ending welfare as we know it'' has faded. …..''What it's saying to the lawyer, and to the poor client, is: We'll give you this money, but we'll give you this money on the condition that there is no challenge to the legal status quo,'' argued lawyer Burt Neuborne. ….."

Jewish World Review 10/4/00 Bob Greene "……COLUMBUS, Ohio | The victim had been beaten so severely that his brain was bleeding. His assailants had also bitten him deeply on various parts of his body, leaving teeth marks in his flesh as clear as professional dental impressions. They had dragged him around by his ears, which were bruised and swollen. Then, after they were through hurting him, they hogtied him -- they bound his ankles together with tape, and tightly taped his wrists together behind his back, so that he could not move……. Then they left him to die. He was 3 years old. He weighed 34 pounds. His name was Patrick Bourgeois Jr., known to his family as P.J……… The killers were his father, Patrick Bourgeois, and his father's girlfriend, Tracy Lynn Bratton. They are walking around free this morning………. They were released from prison before they would have been eligible to appear before a parole board -- released by a judge who feels they have shown sufficient remorse for killing that little boy, and that they do not belong behind bars……….. The judge, in freeing the killers from prison (they had each pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter), said that what they did to the child was "fraught with ignorance, immaturity and inexperience, more than malevolence."…….. Because of the absence of sworn testimony in the case, the absence of direct- or cross-examination, it is unclear on what possible evidence the judge based her conclusion……The child's death was a product of "immaturity and inexperience," and not of malevolence? Certainly that is how the killers wanted the judge -- Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge Nodine Miller -- to regard what they had done: as a case of parenting gone inadvertently bad, as an example of misguided disciplining of a misbehaving boy…….."

Washington Times 10/3/00 Frank J Murray "…..Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia yesterday denied as "absurd" a widely circulated news report that he complained portrayed him as considering resigning from the Supreme Court for financial reasons. …… He also took the extraordinary step of personally attacking longtime Supreme Court reporter Tony Mauro for the article, which he labeled as "gossipy, titillating and thus characteristically Mauronic copy." "Contrary to the unattributed statements in the article, however, I have never suggested to anyone that I would leave the bench because of that limitation," Justice Scalia said in a letter published yesterday by Legal Times. Mr. Mauro moved almost a year ago from USA Today to become Supreme Court correspondent for Legal Times and its parent, American Lawyer Media. "My name hasn't been made fun of like that since I was in fourth grade. My parents aren't real happy about it," Mr. Mauro said yesterday while defending the crux of a Sept. 18 report about a bill to lift the 11-year ban on paying federal judges to give speeches…….."

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 9/24/00 "……'S WONDERFUL, 's marvelous to be noticed for just doing your job--and by a politician as prominent and distinguished, not to say unique, as the current president of the United States. But that's what happened when William Jefferson Clinton, still Esq. and the country's defendant-in-chief, blamed the move to get him disbarred in Arkansas on Yr. Obdt. Servant, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. It's not every day that a mere newspaper is credited with such influence over a state's court system. ……… To hear Bill Clinton tell it (to the Washington Post) we're guilty not only of editorializing but of reporting. It seems we not only found out which members of the state bar's disciplinary committee had contributed to his campaigns and his party, but we went and told the public. Shocking. …….."

USA Today 9/22/00 "……New Hampshire Friday, September 22 Manchester - A judge has ruled that a Massachusetts man who promoted his fringe presidential campaign in January by walking through Manchester in a penis costume did not break the law. Joshua Dostis, a professional clown, had been charged with lewd conduct. Dostis said the charge violated his right to freedom of speech. In a ruling released this week, a judge said the costume was worn as a parody of the political system, not to gain sexual gratification. ….."

Boston Herald 9/22/00 AP "……A confessed child molester at the center of a controversy over his recent court sentence was ordered evicted today from an apartment in a public housing complex. Boston Housing Court Chief Justice E. George Daher on Friday ordered the eviction of Charles ``Ebony'' Horton from a Boston Housing Authority apartment in South Boston. The housing authority sought Horton's eviction after he admitted attempting to sexually assault a 12-year-old boy. A firestorm erupted recently when Horton was sentenced to home detention and probation rather than jail time. BHA Administrator Sandra B. Henriquez said in a written statement that she was ``very pleased'' with Daher's decision. ``I thank Judge Daher for doing what Judge Lopez should have done in the first place,'' Henrique said. …….Horton, a 22-year-old transsexual, confessed to luring the boy into his car, holding a screwdriver to his neck and asking for oral sex. ……Prosecutors had asked for an 8- to 10-year prison sentence, but Judge Maria I. Lopez instead gave him one year of home detention and four additional years' probation. ……"

New York Post 9/24/00 "……Activists with a suspect case and a judge with an agenda is always a dangerous combination. Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Sterling Johnson Jr. ordered that New York City's Division of AIDS Services and Income Support be overseen by a federal magistrate. …… Johnson determined that DAS had "chronically and systematically" delayed or terminated benefits such as emergency housing, rent assistance, food stamps, Medicaid and other services. This bizarre ruling comes out of a class-action lawsuit filed under the Americans With Disabilities Act more than five years ago by that perennial gadfly, Housing Works. Housing Works is an outgrowth of the gay group ACT-UP, whose members were best known for their self-centered, reckless obnoxiousness. ......These handful of cases - out of the 27,000 before the agency - became the foundation for Johnson's ruling. Think of it as litigation by anecdote. ……"

USA Today 9/22/00 Amy Holmes "……Oprah Winfrey may be America's most powerful black woman, but even an appearance with daytime TV's queen didn't halt Al Gore's slide among minority female voters. A bipartisan poll this month found Gore's support among that historically Democratic constituency dropped 10 points in just over a week. Time magazine reports that Gore's own internal polling finds support among black voters ''wide but soft, with only 45% of respondents saying they were definitely going to vote.'' …….. This may explain, then, why Gore took the extraordinary step this past weekend of personally attacking a sitting Supreme Court justice. In one of a whirlwind of speeches before black audiences, Gore reeled off a list of the administration's minority appointees, ending with the kicker, ''53 judges and not a Clarence Thomas among them!'' …… Note he named Thomas, not Antonin Scalia or another conservative justice. Gore's ugly insinuation: Thomas is a discredit to his race. …….. The comment was improper, uncivil and beneath the dignity of his office. Most seriously, it raises doubts about Gore's judgment and his respect for the separation of powers integral to our democracy. ……."

Boston Herald 9/21/00 Jose Martinez "…… The continued presence of convicted child molester Charles ``Ebony'' Horton in a South Boston housing project poses such a threat to other residents and their children he should be evicted immediately, the Boston Housing Authority contends in court papers made public yesterday.. …….. The BHA has asked Housing Court Judge E. George Daher to grant a preliminary injunction booting the 22-year-old transsexual out of the Mary Ellen McCormack Development, where he is currently confined under house arrest. A hearing is scheduled for tomorrow. ……. Under the standard BHA lease, tenants are forbidden from engaging in ``violent or drug related activity on or off BHA property, or any activity resulting in a felony conviction.'' …….. The BHA also contends the terms of the house arrest are too loose, confining Horton to his apartment via an electronic anklet generally reserved for nonviolent offenders and heavily relying on the ``honor system.'' ``As such, there are no safeguards that would ensure that the defendant will remain confined or that would ensure the health and safety of other BHA residents,'' the complaint states. ……"

Boston Herald 9/19/00 Tom Mashberg ".....The Boston Housing Authority plans to serve convicted sex abuser Charles ``Ebony'' Horton with eviction papers as early as today, and several private parties are trying to find new housing for the transgendered 22-year-old, according to his lawyer. ...... Horton, sentenced to five years' probation - one of them under house arrest - for sexually assaulting a then-12-year-old Dorchester boy Nov. 20, is keenly aware his neighbors want him out of the Mary Ellen McCormack Housing Development in South Boston and is eager to move, said his housing attorney, Earl Howard of Cambridge. Horton ``wants to leave as soon as is feasible,'' said Howard, working on the case pro bono. ``It's clear the longer she stays on in this atmosphere, the more danger she is in.'' ...... At a BHA meeting at the project last week, a packed room of residents expressed outrage that Horton was allowed to stay at the complex where so many children live. ......Several gay-rights groups, including Men of Color Against AIDS (MOCAA) in Roxbury, are offering to help find housing for Horton, who must wear an ankle bracelet and stay away from children as a sentencing condition. ......:

Boston Herald 9/18/00 "…….. Bad news comes and bad news goes. But sometimes right there in the fury of it all, bad news creates windows of opportunity. So it is with the outrage over the lenient sentence meted out to one Charles Horton, confessed kidnapper and would-be child molester, by Superior Court Judge Maria Lopez. The sad fact is that while Lopez may have stepped over the line in her tantrums directed at the prosecutor in the case and the media, when it comes to egregiously lenient sentencing she is hardly unique. Those who propose to solve ``the Lopez problem'' would be well advised to spend their time and effort on solving the sentencing problem. Gov. Paul Cellucci last week filed a bill that could actually provide a real alternative to merely beating the talk-show drums. Cellucci would give prosecutors the same right to appeal sentences that defendants now enjoy. The legislation is reasonably limited in scope - limited enough so that it wouldn't bring the judicial system to a screeching halt. ……"

 

New York Times 10/17/00 Linda Greenhouse "…..The Supreme Court agreed today to decide whether Congress violated the Constitution in the early 1980's by imposing Social Security taxes for the first time on the salaries of federal judges. If the justices agree with a lower federal court that the action was unconstitutional, they must then decide whether the violation is ongoing - possibly entitling large numbers of judges to substantial tax refunds - or whether Congress cured the problem with a raise for judges in 1984 that left them with more take- home pay than they had before the Social Security withholding started. ..."

AP 11/28/00 "…….A divided Supreme Court on Monday struck down as unconstitutional random roadblocks intended to catch drug criminals. The court's most conservative justices dissented. The 6-3 ruling weighed privacy rights against the interests of law enforcement. The majority found that Indianapolis' use of drug-sniffing dogs to check all cars pulled over at the roadblocks was an unreasonable search under the Constitution...."

AP via Yahoo 11/22/00 David Dishneau "….. A 9-year-old boy whose naked body was found in a baseball field dugout was beaten, strangled and sexually assaulted, police said Wednesday. ….. A mentally retarded homeless man with a history of sexual offenses was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Christopher Ausherman. The suspect, Elmer Spencer Jr., had been released from prison less than a week before the killing. ……. Spencer, who was on probation, had served two previous prison terms for child sexual assault and battery convictions, according to court documents. His record also includes charges of sexually assaulting a 7-year-old girl in 1996 and assaulting, with intent to murder, an 8-year-old boy in 1995. Both cases were dropped. ….."

AP 11/6/00 "…..A federal appeals panel overturned a death sentence Monday, ruling the prosecutor went too far in telling the jury that the death penalty was sanctioned by God. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the prosecutor violated defendant Alfred Sandavol's right to a fair trial during the penalty phase. Sadavol was convicted in the 1984 slayings of four gang members in Los Angeles and was sentenced to death. Among other things, the prosecutor told jurors: ''You are not playing God. You are doing what God says.''..."

Teri Adams (TAdams8591) 11/3/00 Freeper Physicist "…… I just got off the phone with Teri Adams. The three teamsters who pled guilty last month for beating Don and Teri Adams were sentenced last week (10/25). Judge Sheldon Jelin sentenced Norma Bottomer to one year of probation, while Mark Hopkins and Charlie Davis were each sentenced to two years of probation. They are the third, fourth and fifth Teamsters to be sentenced to probation as a result of the Adams beatings. Kevin McNulty and Marc Nardone pled guilty and received probation in summer, 1999……"

N.Y. Times 10/30/00 Prof. Eugene Volokh, UCLA School of Law "…… The Supreme Court has become a hot issue in the Presidential campaign; both sides warn of evil days if the other gets to name the next several Justices. But we should beware of too quickly assuming what views Democratic or Republican appointees will take on various issues. And this is especially true of free speech, which is usually -- but, it turns out, sometimes wrongly -- seen as a "liberal" issue. ….. Clinton appointee Justice Breyer, for instance, turns out to be the least likely of all nine Justices to vote for free speech claimants. The Justice who takes the broadest view of free speech rights is actually moderate conservative Justice Kennedy, followed by the two Bush appointees -- archconservative Justice Thomas in a virtual tie with the more liberal Justice Souter. Not what some might expect from the conventional political labels…….. Justice Kennedy voted for the free speech claimants an adjusted 74% of the time -- hardly an absolutist (nobody really is one), but still a voice for especially broad speech protection. Justices Souter and Thomas were at 63%. The next group consisted of Justices Ginsburg and Stevens, pretty much tied at 58% and 57%. Justice Scalia followed at 52%; Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justice O'Connor were at 46% and 45%. And Clinton appointee Justice Breyer voted for the free speech claimant only 40% of the time. ….."

Chicago Sun-Times 11/2/00 Chris Fusco "…."If you lie, you will go to hell," a Cook County judge warned two girls in his court before they testified about their dead poodle. Judge James T. Ryan once kept a woman in court until she soiled herself, and fined another woman for speeding to a hospital to give birth. The former mayor of Arlington Heights says he has since learned to control his temper...."

CNS Commentary from the Free Congress Foundation 11/1/00 Thomas Jipping "…..Number 7. Clinton recently told the leftist group People for the American Way that Americans should vote for Gore because of the judges he would appoint. Clinton-Gore judges have struck down teen curfews, ruled that prisons must allow inmates to have porn but that drunks cannot be required to attend AA, prohibited prayers before school board meetings, said the Boy Scouts should be forced to have homosexual leaders, and struck down school vouchers. Does he mean those judges?….."

CNS Commentary from the Free Congress Foundation 11/1/00 Thomas Jipping "…..Number 2. Gore says he will appoint judges who will breathe "deeper meaning" into the law. Clinton-Gore judges have ruled that students expelled under a school's zero-tolerance weapons policy can sue the school, side with criminal defendants more than twice as often as other judges, and said a state law prohibiting state employees from accessing porn on state computers is unconstitutional. That's a lot of heavy breathing.

U.S. News & World Report 11/6/00 John Leo "…….The future makeup of the Supreme Court hasn't caught on as a major issue in the presidential race. One reason is that the media combed through George W. Bush's judicial selections in Texas without finding much to complain about. (The media don't worry much about potential Democratic nominees-all of them are presumed to be safe.) Texas elects its judges, but Bush picked four state Supreme Court judges to fill unexpired terms. He went for the conventional categories of "diversity"-one woman, one Hispanic-American, one judge who uses a wheelchair. All four said Bush hadn't asked their opinions on hot-button issues like abortion and affirmative action. In a controversial case involving parental notification on abortion, three of the four Bush appointees voted to uphold a girl's desire to have the abortion without informing her parents. "They have uniformly been chosen for quality. There has not been a litmus test. They are sort of middle of the road on the court," said William Powers, the dean of the University of Texas School of Law. Texas Lawyer analyzed the selections and came to the same conclusion. ….."

New York Daily News 12/16/00 Steve and Cokie Roberts ".....In the torrent of opinions spewing out of the Supreme Court, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote one of the most telling sentences. By halting the recount in Florida, he warned, the court's five-member majority "will inevitably cast a cloud on the legitimacy of the election." He's right. By their ruling, those five justices made George W. Bush President. But they also guaranteed that he will enter office shadowed by doubt and division. ....... The ruling pours fuel on Democrats' smoldering sense of unfairness and injustice. ......"

newsmax.com 12/16/00 David Bresnahan "..... "Bush is said to have penciled in Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch as top man on the list when a vacancy [USSCT] occurs. Hatch is considered an easy confirmation in the Senate, and is expected to maintain a conservative foundation on the court. The deal has been in the works from the very beginning of the campaign, and will result in the appointment of Republican Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt as Hatch's replacement in the Senate. ...."

Abcnewswire 12/17/00 Reuters "..... Court Justice Sandra Day O"Connor was upset during an election-night party when she heard Florida was first called for Vice President Al Gore, exclaiming, "this is terrible," according to a report in Newsweek magazine released on Sunday. ...... Quoting two eyewitnesses to her comments, Newsweek said that O"Connor then walked off to get a plate of food, and her husband, John, explained to friends and acquaintances that she was upset because they wanted to retire to Arizona and a Gore presidency meant they would have to wait another four years because she did not want a Democrat to name her successor. ......"

Human Events 12/17/00 Ann Coulter "....The rule of law is triumphant-provided beady-eyed fanatics in the U.S. Senate or on the Kangaroo Court can't mess it up by inventing new rules to favor their Democrat friends.......Everyone talks about the election nightmare as if all sorts of decisions from various judges and government officials were constantly switching the election landscape. In fact it was always the same collection of ambulance chasers on the Florida Kangaroo Court that kept throwing a wrench into the works.......First, after Gore had lost the election and the recount-as well as the third manual recount in only Democrat counties conducted within the statutory deadline-the Kangaroo Court stepped in to order that the statutory deadline be extended. For good measure the court viciously denounced the Florida secretary of state by name for having the temerity to follow the law. (But don't call them kangaroos.) .........,, Then, when Gore still lost recounts in only Democrat strongholds conducted after the lawful deadline for election returns, the Kangaroo Court stepped in and ordered yet another crazy quilt of "recounts" as part of an election "contest" procedure. ........ .It's not easy to summarize the SCOFLA's second ruling since it wasn't a simple matter of interpreting "seven days" to mean "19-days." Rather, the second ruling was a wholesale rewrite of Florida election law. As David Boies admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, it would have been a change in the law in violation of 3 USC 5 if the legislature had effected the exact same changes by passing a real law......."

Town Hall.com 12/18/00 Don Feder ".....In perhaps the supreme irony of the month-long legal olympics to determine the outcome of the presidential election, last week, liberals were lamenting judicial activism, defending states rights and insisting, "Just because the Supreme Court says something is unconstitutional, that doesn't make it so." For years, they've been telling us the opposite: That the Constitution means whatever a majority of the court says its means, even if their interpretation is contrary to the document's clear meaning and the Founders' intent....."

Minneapolis (Red) Star Tribune 12/16/00 Michael Seim "...... In a Dec. 13 editorial you placed much of the blame for the election outcome on the U.S. Supreme Court, questioning its integrity and its jurisdiction in this case........I believe that if one wishes to cast blame on the judicial branch of government it should be directed fully at the Florida Supreme Court. ......Twice during this election the Florida Supreme Court has overturned circuit court decisions that were by most accounts based in law.........In the first decision the Florida Supreme Court overturned a circuit court judgment and changed the date of state certification of the election. This was reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, which unanimously decided that the opinion should be voided and the case returned to the Florida high court. ......The second question that the Florida high court looked at was the contest hearing. Again it elected to overturn a circuit court's opinion and legislate a third recount. This ruling also was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. In a 7-2 decision the opinion said that without a standard for what a vote is, this recount would not give all Floridians equal protection.

The 5-4 vote was regarding the timetable of the election. If the Florida Supreme Court had not tried to legislate from the bench, and had the election been certified as Florida law states one week after the election, I believe that the case decided Dec. 12 would have been far less important to Gore. ...."

Wall St. Journal 12/15/00 Paul Gigot "..... Ralph Neas is in pain, and conservatives know how he feels. The president of People for the American Way has said all year that the big issue is the Supreme Court, and was he ever right. ...... ... But having turned the Supreme Court into a superlegislature, the left is now horrified to see what it's created. The same folks who invited the courts to settle this year's presidential election are now stunned that the Supreme Court took them up on the offer. What made them think that a 4-3 majority of the Florida Supreme Court would have the last legal word? .......The ironic pain doesn't stop there. The high court's liberals also made it easier for conservative justices to rule for Mr. Bush. For weeks the main Bush legal argument concerned Article II of the Constitution and a federal law giving legislatures the power to set election rules. Swing Justices Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day O'Connor focused on this claim during oral arguments. They all but ignored Mr. Bush's "equal protection" claim--that differing Florida vote-counting standards violated one-man, one-vote law. ......But then liberal Justices David Souter and Stephen Breyer got too clever. They began to play up the equal-protection claim, no doubt sincerely to blunt the Article II claim because it rebuked judicial activism. But also no doubt in the hope of luring politically sensitive Justices Kennedy and O'Connor away from Chief Justice William Rehnquist and his fellow conservatives. ......."

Jewish World Review 12/14/00 Wooten "......The reality today is that the election is over and the nation is far more divided than need be, as Stevens' dissent expresses, precisely because four naive and activist judges on the Florida Supreme Court interrupted with judicial adventurousness the nation's process of accepting the election outcome........... As chaotic and litigious as the process had been, it was essentially over last Friday with the rulings in two Florida counties not to throw out absentee ballots. The country was poised to accept the election of George W. Bush. The country had come to accept the results and to a consensus that hand recounts were impractical because the reading of intent depended on the interpretation of the beholder. .........The nation, therefore, had moved from surprise and denial into acceptance of the reality of the results and the impossibility of achieving a fairer or more accurate count of miscast ballots. Until Friday. Until four judges on the Florida Supreme Court reopened all the partisans' wounds and dangled the absurd proposition before them that, hey, maybe it would be possible to win this election in the courts. .......... Their decision pushed the nation toward crisis and, suddenly yesterday's incomprehensible notion -- that the Florida Legislature and Congress would intervene -- became today's appropriate remedy. They should not have taken us there. ............So now we have the boundaries pushed, a judicial system that has been drawn deeply and, in the case of the U.S. Supreme Court reluctantly and regrettably, into presidential election politics -- something that can do the judiciary no good at all because it engenders distrust and bitterness. ..........."

National Post 12/14/00 Luiza Chwialkowska "..... The way George Bush finally secured the presidency, with a decision in the U.S. Supreme Court, has focused attention sharply on the least discussed but most explosive issue of the election: Who will appoint the next several Justices? Neither candidate discussed it loudly, but Mr. Bush and Al Gore disagreed profoundly about the kind of men and women they like interpreting the Constitution. By ending the recount of Florida ballots, and by clearing the barriers between Mr. Bush and the White House, the Supreme Court has had a hand in shaping its own future for the first time in history. It might have ensured that the court has a conservative politico-judicial complexion for a generation to come. It is thought that between two and four judges might retire within the next four years. Mr. Bush would then be able to appoint their replacements. He favours "textualists," sometimes referred to as "strict constructionists," who prefer, when deciding issues, to stick closely to what the Constitution actually says. Mr. Gore favoured those who believe in a "living Constitution," which is a philosophy giving great interpretive latitude to judges. It was liberal "living constitutionalists" who discovered a women's right to have an abortion in the "penumbra" of several amendments in the Bill of Rights. ....."

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Washingtion bureau 1/4/01 Deirdre Shesgreen ".... Missouri Supreme Court Judge Ronnie White wants to testify at John Ashcroft's confirmation hearing for the post of attorney general, a source said. The source spoke Thursday on the condition of anonymity and declined to elaborate. Leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee from both parties have said that White could testify if he chooses. .....If White does come before the committee, it would make for a dramatic scene, with White taking aim for the first time at the man who torpedoed his chance to become a federal judge. It would also be a rare, if not unprecedented move for a sitting judge to testify against a White House nominee. ...... On Wednesday, Hatch said he, too, would welcome White's remarks, although he added, "I would be very surprised if he wanted to testify." .......Aside from drawing renewed attention to his rejection, it's not clear what impact White's testimony would have on Ashcroft's confirmation. ..... Ashcroft said White had overturned more death-penalty convictions than any other current judge on the Missouri Supreme Court. White's supporters accused Ashcroft of distorting White's record, noting that the judge had voted to uphold the death penalty in 41 of 59 cases that came before him. ...... "

AP 1/4/01 "…..The likelihood is growing that a Missouri Supreme Court judge will take the unusual step of testifying against the nomination of John Ashcroft to be attorney general. ……. A spokesman for Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the panel likely will issue a formal invitation to Judge Ronnie White. His nomination to the federal bench was scuttled by opposition from Ashcroft, then a senator from Missouri. ……. The acknowledgment signals that Leahy and Senate Democrats are prepared to make the process as uncomfortable as possible for Ashcroft, even though Leahy has promised not to lead an assault on Ashcroft. ......It is rare for a judge to testify against a Cabinet nominee. Ashcroft's fight against White led Democrats and civil rights groups to accuse Ashcroft of being insensitive to minority issues, because the judge is black. …….Whether Leahy and the panel's Democrats have the final say remains in question, because Democrats control the chamber only until the inauguration Jan. 20, when Bush and Dick Cheney are inaugurated as president and vice president, handing Cheney the tie-breaking vote. …….. Leahy will chair the Judiciary Committee until then, with Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, retaking the chairmanship with the new administration. Hearings have not been scheduled, but Leahy wants them to commence before inauguration and continue afterward. ….."

Newsmax.com 1/4/01 Wes Vernon "……. If the hard left wants a nasty fight over President-elect Bush's nomination of John Ashcroft for attorney general, Republicans have one option: Slam right back and don't blink. ......That blunt advice was offered Wednesday by Mark R. Levin, president of the Landmark Legal Foundation. Speaking to a group of Washington-area conservatives at the Leadership Institute, Levin called on Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, to schedule testimony by the families of the victims of the Missouri killer whose case is at the heart of left-wing charges of racism on Ashcroft's part. …….. …….. Ashcroft had opposed the White nominatioin in 1999 because of his lone dissents in some death penalty cases. The main focus of Ashcroft's oppostion was the case of killer James Johnson. ……. Johnson, who by the way is white, was involved in an argument with his wife and daughter in 1991. When he pulled a gun and threatened them, a sheriff's deputy was called to intervene. Johnson shot the deputy twice in the back, and as the deputy lay on the ground moaning in pain, Johnson walked up to him and killed him with another bullet through the head. The rampage continued as Johnson drove to the home of the sheriff and shot the sheriff's wife five times at a Christmas party in front of her family……."

The Associated Press 1/2/1 James Jefferson "..... A newly elected judge who was appointed to a state office by then-Gov. Bill Clinton said Tuesday he won't consider withdrawing from presiding over the Clinton disbarment case unless he's asked. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Willard Proctor Jr., who inherited the state's petition to strip President Clinton of his law license, took office Monday. ..."

U.S. News & World Report 1/3/01 Kenneth Walsh "...... At first, President Clinton's naming of Roger Gregory as the first black judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond seemed simple. But the move was also a time bomb for George W. Bush and one of several bits of mischief that Clinton, ever the master pol, is making for his successor. ......Clinton tapped Gregory, a Virginia lawyer, last week during a congressional recess, a rare procedure that he said came in response to Republican stalling on a longtime vacancy. Now the Republicans will have a problem if they oppose Gregory when his formal nomination comes up for a vote next year. "This guy will already be on the bench, and they will have to actually unseat him," says a Clinton adviser. .....The appointment is also designed to complicate Bush's efforts to win Senate confirmation for John Ashcroft as attorney general. Ashcroft has blocked at least one other black judicial nominee, saying he was weak on crime. ......."

MSNBC 12/29/00 Scott Mooneyham ".....The state Court of Appeals on Friday ruled unconstitutional a law allowing judges to impose harsher sentences for criminals who use guns while committing a felony, citing a U.S. Supreme Court decision involving a New Jersey hate crime statute. The decision overturns a seven-year prison sentence given to a Charlotte man convicted of kidnapping and assaulting his former girlfriend at gunpoint. The court ordered that Eric Earl Guice be resentenced and that the five-year term added to his prison term for using a gun being dropped....."

Yahoo News 1/1/01 Jim Wolf "......(Reuters) - The ``seesaw aftermath'' of the Nov. 7 U.S. election tested the system in unprecedented, and hopefully very rare, ways, Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist said in remarks to be released Monday. ``Despite the seesaw aftermath of the presidential election, we are once again witnessing the orderly transition of power'' from one administration to another, he wrote in his 15th annual year-end report on the federal judiciary. ....... The election ``tested our constitutional system in ways it has never been tested before,'' Rehnquist said. ''The Florida State courts, the lower federal courts and the Supreme Court of the United States became involved in a way that one hopes will seldom, if ever, be necessary in the future,'' he added. ....... The high court's conservative majority in effect handed the election to Republican George W. Bush on Dec. 12 when it blocked further manual recounts in Florida sought by Vice President Al Gore (news - web sites), the Democratic candidate. Gore conceded the contest Dec. 13, 36 days after the vote. The court ruled that the inconsistent standards used to evaluate ambiguously marked ballots in different counties violated the equal protection clause of the U.S. constitution. ......In addition, it held, 5-4, that the then-looming deadline for selection of electors kept Florida from putting into effect appropriate procedures in time to complete a statewide recount. ....."

The Boston Globe 12/26/00 Ralph Siegal ".....A state appeals court said it is OK if a police officer who may have lost the patience for more subtle detective tactics just blurts out a question about drugs to occupants of a car. The court in a ruling released Tuesday said officers in such cases are not required to first give the occupants of a car the so-called Miranda warnings against self-incrimination....."