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Judge's Comments Have Upset Many Groups

March 23, 1995|MARIA L. La GANGA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

In nearly 30 years on the federal bench here, U.S. District Court Judge A. Andrew Hauk has offended women, minorities, homosexuals and conservationists with his comments.

Last fall Hauk was barred by a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals from hearing any civil rights cases regarding police brutality.

The chief judge of the 9th Circuit ordered an unusual investigation after charges that Hauk made intemperate and abusive remarks from the bench. The panel also looked into reports that Hauk, 82, suffered a mental disability that left him unable to understand testimony.

Hauk was declared fit to continue serving as a judge but prohibited from handling police brutality cases. In recent years, the 9th Circuit has reversed Hauk's decisions in several such cases. In one case involving the Los Angeles Police Department, the court said Hauk's remarks during trial showed "a pro-police bias."

He has referred to homosexuals as "faggots" during trials and, during jury selection in a drug trial, compared the defendant to former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega. During a 1979 antitrust case against the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, he regularly referred to the defendants as "the Opeckers."

Ten years later, Hauk declared in court that women are "soft touches . . . particularly when sex is involved," a comment that led the 2,000-member California Women Lawyers to seek an investigation into Hauk's "repeated public display of biased attitudes."

On Wednesday, in dismissing a major DDT case, he called environmentalists "do-gooders and pointy-heads." It was not the first time that he has taken such activists to task.

At one time, an avid skier and proponent of resort development, Hauk has done battle against conservationists who have wanted to leave certain mountain areas undisturbed.

In a 1975 interview, Hauk said he has "an intense desire to see people have access to ski areas, and I can't understand the determined resistance of some conservationists. I believe God put us here to use the Earth, conquer the Earth and preserve it."

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