Patterico's Pontifications

12/18/2017

Unqualified Judicial Candidate Withdraws

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:30 pm

You may recall that the other day I posted the viral video of the unqualified Trump judicial nominee.

https://twitter.com/SenWhitehouse/status/9414841317578

He has never tried a case. He’s assisted with fewer than five depositions and never taken one himself. He’s never argued a motion in court. He stumbled and bumbled when asked when he last read the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. He last read the Federal Rules of Evidence in law school. He doesn’t know what the Daubert standard is. He initially says he knows what a motion in limine is, but ends up conceding that he could not give a definition of it. He doesn’t know what the Younger or Pullman abstention doctrines are.

And now, he is withdrawing from consideration:

He makes a case in the letter that knowledge of incredibly basic questions of civil procedure and evidence is unnecessary for this position, because it deals with many regulatory matters. Maybe that’s why he didn’t bother to prepare himself for the job — as I explained in my previous post:

But if I were a nominee to the federal bench, I would bone up on this stuff. Especially if I had never tried a case or argued a motion or taken a deposition. I would read the FRCP and FRE. I’d look at the basic jurisdictional rules, which federal judges have to know and apply whether the parties raise them or not.

In other words, I would try to show that I am worthy of the nomination.

Nominees to the federal bench aren’t supposed to be just any random lawyer. It’s a lifetime appointment. You’re expected to have at least some idea what you’re doing.

This guy is not only unworthy, he’s not even trying. It’s shameful and embarrassing.

I can’t feel too sorry for the guy. Two to three days of preparation could have avoided this embarrassment. If you’re unwilling to do that preparation, how can we know you’ll be prepared for cases you try as a judge?

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

Kozinski to Retire Amid Another #MeToo Scandal

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:15 am

The first major judge caught up in the #MeToo phenomenon was Alex Kozinski, a well-known Ninth Circuit judge with strong libertarian leanings. The Washington Post published a story about alleged inappropriate behavior with women, and followed it up with another story that brought the total number of accusers to in excess of a dozen women. Now the judge is retiring:

Alex Kozinski, the powerful judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit who was facing a judicial investigation over allegations that he subjected 15 women to inappropriate sexual behavior, announced Monday that he would retire effective immediately.

In a statement provided by his lawyer, Kozinski apologized, saying that he “had a broad sense of humor and a candid way of speaking to both male and female law clerks alike” and that, “in doing so, I may not have been mindful enough of the special challenges and pressures that women face in the workplace.”

“It grieves me to learn that I caused any of my clerks to feel uncomfortable; this was never my intent,” he said. “For this I sincerely apologize.”

The whole thing is very regrettable. The behavior alleged in the stories turned out to be fairly widespread and — if all the stories are to be credited — more severe than one might have imagined likely from this jurist. I still don’t see him as someone who was ever out to demean women. I see him more as a fellow with a very effusive personality combined with perhaps a lack of sensitivity as to how people might react to certain comments or behavior. I have met Kozinski on more than one occasion and always found him an engaging and an interesting person, and I think the federal judiciary will be the poorer without his intellect, wit, and direct and clear manner of expression. But I respect his decision to retire, under the circumstances, and wish him the best in the future — just as I also wish the best to his accusers.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

Roy Moore Won’t Take No For An Answer, But He Will Take Your Money

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:14 am

[Guest post by Dana]

Nearly one week after the special election in Alabama was called for Doug Jones, Republican candidate Roy Moore is still refusing to concede the race.

In fact, not only is he refusing to concede, he is now also asking supporters to send him money so that he can investigate voter fraud:

Alabama Republican Roy Moore on Friday told supporters that the “battle is not over” in Alabama’s Senate race even though President Donald Trump and others have called on him to concede.

Moore sent a fundraising email to supporters asking for contributions to his “election integrity fund’ so he could investigate reports of voter fraud.

“I also wanted to let you know that this battle is NOT OVER!” he wrote.

As a reminder, Jones garnered 49.9 percent of the vote compared to Moore’s 48.4 percent, and while Moore apparently believes he can accrue 20,000 more votes, including military and provisional votes, Alabama secretary of state John Merrill, himself an ardent Moore supporter, remains doubtful:

While the vote isn’t yet certified — that won’t come for several weeks — and the totals could move a few votes here or there even John Merrill, the Alabama Secretary of State who acknowledged he voted for Moore, has told CNN that it is “highly unlikely” that Moore could come close to winning the race. (Each of Alabama’s 67 counties are required to report the results to the Alabama secretary of state’s office by Dec. 22. Then, the state’s Canvassing Board has until Jan. 3 to formally certify the results.

Here are the odds of that happening:

What Moore is banking on is that there are 20,716 votes for him and 0 for Jones in the military and provisional ballots. That would give Moore a one-vote victory.

Moreover, the cost for any possible recount would be exorbitant:

If the difference between Jones and Moore is less than half a percentage point, the state would pay for the recount, but if it’s greater, Moore’s campaign would have to request and pay for it.

The check would be a big one.

“We estimate that it might be somewhere between 1 million and 1.5 million dollars but that could change,” says Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill.

Moore’s latest actions remind me of Jill Stein, who asked her supporters to fund a recount in the 2016 election. However, unlike Moore, Stein never discussed accepting the election results as God’s will being done — no matter the outcome:

It’s God’s will whatever happens, so we’re expecting God to do whatever he does will be the right thing to do.

Certainly one of the most difficult aspects of the Christian faith is submitting oneself to the will of God and trusting Him, especially when it goes against what we want. So it’s pretty rich that Roy Moore, who presented himself as some sort of model Christian and paragon of virtue, and whose supporters defended him as such, still refuses to yield to the “will of God,” which has been loudly and clearly made known to him and to the voters of Alabama.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

— Dana


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