Judicial Temperament

Steve Benen points us to an example of how NOT to demonstrate it:

A liberal-bashing book by a veteran St. Louis judge is to become available publicly this week, but it is already causing a stir in political and legal circles — and prompting some to say it could cost him his job.

Chapter 1 of Circuit Judge Robert H. Dierker Jr.'s book, "The Tyranny of Tolerance: A Sitting Judge Breaks the Code of Silence to Expose the Liberal Judicial Assault," has circulated via e-mail since last month and been widely read in legal circles, lawyers and judges say.

The sentiments expressed in that chapter, which frequently uses the term "femifascists" and is titled "The Cloud Cuckooland of Radical Feminism," have already prompted a complaint with the state body that can reprimand or remove judges.

. . . The first chapter was heavily discussed at the recent holiday party for the Women Lawyers' Association of Greater St. Louis. One judge who attended noted, "Everyone's just pretty much shocked." Association President Lynn Ricci said, "I have read it. I find it disturbing." She also said, "I frankly think that it is a shame that this very smart man has lowered himself to name-calling."

Heh, yes that is a shame isn't it? I assume he is planning a careeer as a Right Wing radio talk show host but I could be wrong.

But I really liked this comment from Dierker on his "biases":

Dierker responds that he is always fair in the courtroom, and paraphrases the book: "Conservative judges are much more likely to know where their biases are and how to draw the line."

This does not help:

Although Dierker's book could become available this week, the official rollout comes next Tuesday on conservative TV host Bill O'Reilly's show. Dierker also says he has appearances scheduled on other radio and TV programs across the political spectrum. . . . Dierker said that he had to be "polemical" in the book to get attention, and said "controversy is inevitable." But, he said, the controversy may draw attention to an issue that is permeating the law and the judiciary. "If I wrote a law review article, who would read it?" he asked. "I think unquestionably, the more controversy, the more interest it generates from the mundane to the philosophical," he said.

I suppose this will be deemed repression of free speech, but I really do think judges have to rein it in. Judge Richard Posner has been way over the line as well, altough in entirely different ways, recently.

Suffice it to say that I will never be a judge. And I am not sure that this gentleman wants to be one either.

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    odd....................... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by cpinva on Tue Dec 26, 2006 at 02:54:39 PM EST
    i thought it was conservative congressmen, calling for the heads of "liberal" judges? i have yet to see/hear of a purported "liberal" congressman demanding the removal of judge who's verdicts they deemed wrong.

    methinks the judge doth protest too much.

    ppj you always get yourself into trouble when you try to think.

    is that what that was? :)

    judge (none / 0) (#12)
    by jcarl568 on Tue Dec 26, 2006 at 03:14:04 PM EST
    the immediate question is,is it malpractice not to request a change of judge even though there has not been a previous problem?

    Ge, I guess it's just me ... (none / 0) (#18)
    by Sailor on Tue Dec 26, 2006 at 07:37:11 PM EST
    ... but when a judge calls womens (peoples) rights "femifascists" shouldn't he have to be recused on every woman who defends or prosecutes a case before his court!? Or is a defendant? Or a plantiff?

    ppj is already on record as promoting the death of America's political leaders, why is he still allowed to comment? Would TL allow the same comments from OBL!?


    Scroll up and read my reply (none / 0) (#20)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 09:26:26 AM EST
    to squeaky.

    Then go join him in the sand box.


    BTD - But wait! Don't we know that (1.00 / 2) (#1)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 26, 2006 at 11:39:39 AM EST
    journalists won't let their biases influence their work?

    Surely a judge can do the same....

    Your comment is a nonsequitor (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Dec 26, 2006 at 12:26:00 PM EST
    Judicial temperament is the issue, not bias.

    Non Sequitor? Only that one? (none / 0) (#3)
    by Edger on Tue Dec 26, 2006 at 01:06:32 PM EST
    I understand (none / 0) (#4)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 26, 2006 at 01:07:22 PM EST
    you think it is temperment. I don't see it that way.

    The complaints I see are that he makes negative comments about the left. Even your linked artucle concludes:

    No, of course not. Just because he spent nearly 300 pages explaining his beliefs that liberals and "femifascists" are wrong about everything is certainly no reason to question his judicial independence, temperament, and impartiality, right?

    Certainly women in St. Louis bringing a case about, say, sexual harassment, can take comfort in knowing that Dierker will be fair and evenhanded, right

    Think? (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by squeaky on Tue Dec 26, 2006 at 01:24:24 PM EST
    What is "judicial temperament"? The American Bar Association defines it as having "compassion, decisiveness, open-mindedness, sensitivity, courtesy, patience, freedom from bias and commitment to equal justice."

    ppj you always get yourself into trouble when you try to think.


    Uh, you still miss the words: (none / 0) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 09:22:25 AM EST
    judicial independence, temperament, and impartiality, right?


    impartial - not partial or biased : treating or affecting all equally

    bias - to give a settled and often prejudiced outlook to <his background biases him against foreigners>

    I commented:

    But wait! We know journalists won't let their biases influence their work?

    Surely a judge can do the same....

    Now, go back to the article, and we have:

    Just because he spent nearly 300 pages explaining his beliefs that liberals and "femifascists" are wrong about everything is certainly no reason to question his judicial independence, temperament, and impartiality, right?

    Now try to understand the author. He is, most obviously making a rhetorial sarcastic comment, in which he uses the word "impartiality."

    Which means that he doesn't have a bias. He is "impartial."

    Now, what did I say? Very simple. If we assume journalists can be biased but still do unbiased work, then surely a judge can do the same.

    Somewhat sarcastic, eh? But quite accurate. Biased journalists doing unbiased work has been a staple of journalist claims for years.

    Now BTD wanted to ignore what the article concluded and wanted to address only part of it.
    Which concluded that the judge could not be impartial because he had been judged to be partial.

    Lesson over squeaky, go back to playing in your sand box. Better yet, get yourself a TV so you can better understand American culture. You're like a blind man who has never seen the stars debating them.

    As for your snarky, incorrect comment, I note:

    Posted by Squeaky at September 19, 2005 11:19 PM

    Rove never needed proof for his smear machine, why should I.

    Why do you keep asking for this? (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by aw on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 11:23:09 AM EST
    PPJ is terrified of naked people, but he's not worried about a judge who writes as if he despises women who dare to assert their civil rights (because he's not one).  

    Why don't you substitute "blacks" for women and tell us how he could be impartial and unbiased.


    Bread and circuses (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by aw on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 11:36:01 AM EST
    Better yet, get yourself a TV
    so you can watch the circuses PPJ so enjoys.

    hahaha (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by squeaky on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 12:05:26 PM EST
    OK Perfessor. Feeling a bit defensive because you were unfamiliar with the term 'Judicial Temperament'? Another non-sequitur to deflect the spotlight from your lack?

    Whenever ppj's ego gets wounded he changes the subject to his idol, Rove. It is like calling out to daddy for help. Too bad you were shortchanged in the brains department, because with a heart as cold  as yours you could have been a contender.


    Hey! Easy...easy... (none / 0) (#24)
    by Edger on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 12:08:31 PM EST
    It's hard to get any work done here laughing this hard. ;-)

    It's a beautiful thing when bigots like... (none / 0) (#5)
    by Bill Arnett on Tue Dec 26, 2006 at 01:23:07 PM EST
    ...this judge hang themselves with their own words of hate and bigotry.

    It is also instructional to the public to see and learn of judges like this appointed by the religious right-supporting rethuglicans.

    They should see first hand the thinking of illiberal judges with a vile outlook on life that must, indeed, have some impact on his rulings.

    judge (none / 0) (#7)
    by jcarl568 on Tue Dec 26, 2006 at 01:46:28 PM EST
    i was shocked when i saw this article in the morning paper.i have appeared in front of him many times,both in trial and when he was the presiding motion judge.while  conservative,he was always fair,followed the law,and seemed very bright.

    the Enlightenment never happened. (none / 0) (#8)
    by Compound F on Tue Dec 26, 2006 at 02:29:26 PM EST
    Really.  I grew up thinking this was essentially a liberal, progressive society.  How wrong can one be?  Pretty wrong.

    It still is, for the largest part. (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Edger on Tue Dec 26, 2006 at 02:58:52 PM EST
    In late 2004 and early 2005 Pew Research conducted an in depth Political Typology study of American society. It's Principal Findings, among other things, were that:
    Coming out of the 2004 election, the American political landscape decidedly favored the Republican Party. The GOP had extensive appeal among a disparate group of voters in the middle of the electorate, drew extraordinary loyalty from its own varied constituencies, and made some inroads among conservative Democrats. These advantages outweighed continued nationwide parity in party affiliation. Looking forward, however, there is no assurance that Republicans will be able to consolidate and build upon these advantages.

    Republicans have neither gained nor lost in party identification in 2005. Moreover, divisions within the Republican coalition over economic and domestic issues may loom larger in the future, given the increasing salience of these matters. The Democratic party faces its own formidable challenges, despite the fact that the public sides with them on many key values and policy questions. Their constituencies are more diverse and, while united in opposition to President Bush, the Democrats are fractured by differences over social and personal values.

    And as Profiles of the Typology Groups break down, Liberals [Liberal Democrats/Seculars/60's Democrats] comprise the largest group at 17% of General Population and 19% of Registered Voters, followed by Conservative Democrats at 15% of Adult Population and 15% of registered Voters.

    Enterprisers [Staunch Conservatives] made up only 9% of Adult Population and 10% Registered Voters, tied with Pro-Governemnt Conservatives on both scores.

    So liberal progressives as a group are beating the rest of 'em, hands down.

    We're also better looking and smarter, IMO. But we knew that without a study. ;-)

    Happy New Year!


    thanks. (none / 0) (#11)
    by Compound F on Tue Dec 26, 2006 at 03:11:05 PM EST
    those numbers actually sound about right.  pretty slim, less than one-fifth for any ideological leaning.  Everyone else: mannequins.  Still, I'll accept any edge percentage-wise.

    Welcome (none / 0) (#13)
    by Edger on Tue Dec 26, 2006 at 03:14:43 PM EST
    The mannequins probably aren't happy though. :-)

    don't tell them. (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Compound F on Tue Dec 26, 2006 at 03:30:25 PM EST
    what they don't know won't hurt them until it does.

    From the same study: (none / 0) (#15)
    by Edger on Tue Dec 26, 2006 at 03:36:27 PM EST
    Liberals: (Liberal Democrats/Seculars/60's Democrats )

    BASIC DESCRIPTION: This group has nearly doubled in proportion since 1999. Liberal Democrats now comprise the largest share of Democrats. They are the most opposed to an assertive foreign policy, the most secular, and take the most liberal views on social issues such as homosexuality, abortion, and censorship. They differ from other Democratic groups in that they are strongly pro-environment and pro-immigration.

    DEFINING VALUES: Strongest preference for diplomacy over use of military force. Pro-choice, supportive of gay marriage and strongly favor environmental protection. Low participation in religious activities. Most sympathetic of any group to immigrants as well as labor unions, and most opposed to the anti-terrorism Patriot Act.


    Now you're just teasing. (none / 0) (#16)
    by Compound F on Tue Dec 26, 2006 at 03:53:46 PM EST
    I was alive in the sixties, and saw it turn into the next 30-40 years.  This time, we don't have the luxury of another 30-40 years.  We simply don't have it.  Humans have exceeded the carrying capacity of the planet, perhaps by 3-fold already.  No one is certain.  How do we get back to something sustainable?  I'm most concerned that incremental politics, and incremental attitudes, won't get us there.  What does this have to do with backwards judges?  Everything, I guess, as it seems to be emblematic of the hurdles for which we do not have time to jump.  Now is the time for informed change, not a steeple-chase through our atavisms.  But I suspect we won't make it en masse.

    Not teasing. Hoping..... (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Edger on Tue Dec 26, 2006 at 04:07:42 PM EST
    This time, we don't have the luxury of another 30-40 years.

    Code of Judicial Conduct (none / 0) (#25)
    by eric on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 12:18:03 PM EST
    Missouri Code of Judicial Conduct:


    Just a quick glance, and I see two canons that he pretty much completely disregarded:

    Canon 2. A Judge Shall Avoid Impropriety and the Appearance of Impropriety in All of the Judge's Activities

    Canon 4. A Judge Shall So Conduct the Judge's Extrajudicial Activities as to Minimize the Risk of Conflict With Judicial Obligations

    He should be removed from the bench immediately.

    I agree with what eric says (none / 0) (#26)
    by killer on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 02:26:03 PM EST
    Also, anyone who apears before this judge, who has a known political position or a known gender, either has grounds to call for recusal or their opponent does. This judge has admitted an extra-judicial bias against liberals and women. How can he not clog the docket with baggage attached to him through this book?