Shaming Sanction
"Scalia's Constitution" Has No Moral Authority

Judge Manuel L. Real: Judicial Self-Regulation Fail

The Los Angeles Times has this lengthy expose on federal judge Manuel L. Real.  Real has been terrorizing litigants and lawyers for decades.  He's a disagrace.  He's still on the bench.  If other judges can't can't do something about this guy, then what does that say about judicial self-regulation?  

Best paragraph: 

The Judicial Council of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals examined 89 cases in which Real's conduct was challenged, though it is not clear if Dubin's was among them because the panel does not disclose details of its investigations. In December, the panel said the judge's behavior was problematic but lacked the "willfulness" required for disciplinary sanctions, adding that in the future, Real should be "especially vigilant concerning the subject matter of these complaints."

Eighty-nine cases is a lot of smoke.  Maybe there is no fire.  We can't even have an informed discussion, though, as the Ninth Circuit doesn't believe that federal judges - public servants, all of them - should actually have their conduct judged by the public.  It does seem highly improbable that all 89 cases were false accusations. 

If the Ninth Circuit's kid-gloves treatment of Real sounds familiar, remember the case of Judge Samuel Kent.  Kent is in prison, having admitted to committing sexual assault.  In an order imposing a psuedo-discipline on Kent, Fifth Circuit Judge Edith Jones characterized Kent's conduct as "harassment," and refused to publish details of the allegations against him.  Kent remained on the bench.  Despite having the power to refer Kent to Congress for an impeachment investigation, Jones and her co-horts kept quiet.

Aftrer Kent's outraged victim went to the Houston Chronicle, the United States Attorneys Office opened an investigation.  Kent is now in prison, and resigned from the bench after the Senate began impeachment proceedings.

Had Edith Jones and her co-conspirators had their way, no one would have ever known that Judge Samuel Kent was a sex offender in a black robe.