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View Diary: Federal Judge Says She's "Disgusted" By People Claiming Mental Retardation in Capital Murder Cases (13 comments)

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  •  Is there an audio/video of the comments? (5+ / 0-)

    My opinion of Edith Jones, who -- no doubt -- is one of the most conservative judges on the 5th Circuit, is that she is not stupid (and I've appeared before her), and it would be very stupid of her to have said these exact things in this way.  I have no doubt that she said something along these lines that people found offensive, but if they are going to bring this kind of complaint, I would think they would have to have an audio or video of the comments.  

    At any rate, stupid as the comments may have been, I have a hard time seeing any disciplinary action.  Nothing prohibits federal judges from having really, really stupid opinions outside of the courtroom. (Confirmation hearings are supposed to be for ferreting out stupid or out of the mainstream opinions.) This is not the kind of thing that rule is typically used for.  It more typically would be used in cases of improper contact with the parties appearing before her, failing to disclose a conflict of interest -- that kind of thing.  

    •  In another diary of this issue (0+ / 0-)

      it was stated that the speech was not taped or recorded and that no transcript is available.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 08:02:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Could be fodder for disqualification motions (0+ / 0-)

      in a few capital cases (which would be a good thing, in my view), but probably not discipline, based on what we've seen so far. Given that she was chief during some pretty serious judicial discipline matters (e.g., Porteous), I suspect she knows the rules fairly well.

      I read the canon to be more encompassing than you do, but the extrajudicial opinion usually has to relate more directly to pending or impending cases, not simply to reveal ignorance or racism. (Imagine the vacancy rate if that were the standard!) If she's got a capital case in front of her that turns on the IQ of the defendant, it's a whole different kettle of crawfish.

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