CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 27, 2009 |
With seven children to care for and a caseload that quadrupled this past year, U.S. District Judge Stephen G. Larson says he can no longer afford his prestigious lifetime appointment. The 44-year-old, named to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California less than four years ago, is the latest defection in an accelerating nationwide trend toward leaving the federal bench long before retirement age to earn more money in private practice. Vacancies in the federal judiciary are mounting, and too few of the best legal minds are stepping forward to replace them, judicial analysts say. They attribute what they see as a troubling phenomenon to Congress' failure for nearly two decades to pass a significant pay increase for federal judges or to expand their numbers to handle a soaring caseload.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 16, 2009 |
Attorney Gary Dubin was in a Honolulu hospital, sedated and suffering from depression after the death of his son, when U.S. District Judge Manuel L. Real had him handcuffed and taken to court -- still in his hospital gown -- to answer charges of failing to file tax returns. Real allowed him to send for clothes but refused to postpone the hearing, recalled Dubin, who had to defend himself in a medicated fog without his case files. Judged guilty by Real after a two-day bench trial, Dubin spent 19 1/2 months in federal prison, while his home went into foreclosure and his credit was ruined by identity thieves.
June 2, 2010 |
These days our civic conversation is dominated by declarations rather than argument, by assertion as opposed to evidence. It is, for example, routinely asserted in some quarters that religion and its values are everywhere under siege and that believers are continually discriminated against in public life. In fact, we are, as a people, more God-besotted than at any time in our recent history. America is the only country in the developed world in which a large majority continues to profess belief in a supreme being; slightly more than half our people are formally affiliated with a church, which also is anomalous among advanced nations.
April 8, 2009 |
When Brent Benjamin ran for chief justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court in 2004, the nation's fourth-largest coal company donated $3 million to his successful campaign -- more than all his other contributors combined. Two years later, the company, Massey Energy, came before Benjamin's court to appeal a $50-million judgment it had been ordered to pay. Benjamin cast the deciding vote in a 3-2 decision to overturn the award. Now the U.S.
December 21, 2011
Judging the judges Re "Gingrich might scrap certain judges, courts," Dec. 18 Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will surely put our country on a slippery slope, should he get elected president and carry out his threat to scrap certain federal judges and courts. The Supreme Court is supreme because we the people allow it to be; we recognize the need for a final arbiter. Should we allow someone, anyone, to circumvent the law, we will cease being a democracy. Very few Supreme Court decisions are unanimous, thereby telling us that even among carefully vetted jurists there is disagreement.
October 28, 2013 |
Supporters of photo ID requirements for voters are fond of noting that the Supreme Court upheld Indiana's ID law in a 2007 decision written by the then-dean of the court's liberal wing, Justice John Paul Stevens. Now critics of voter ID laws, who portray them as an attempt to suppress the votes of racial minorities and other Democratic-leaning groups, have a comeback. In a new book, the famously prolific Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago writes that “I plead guilty to having written the majority opinion (affirmed by the Supreme Court)