Arthur Hellman on Federal Judge’s Arrest and Possible Sanctions
Publish Date/Time: September 2, 2014
The arrest of an Atlanta federal judge on spousal abuse charges has called attention to the process for dealing with misconduct by federal judges. The Daily Report, the American Law Media newspaper in Atlanta, called on Pitt Law Professor Arthur D. Hellman for expert analysis.
“The days of looking the other way about allegations of misconduct, those are over,” said Hellman, who has testified before Congress on matters of federal judicial discipline. He said U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller could receive a public reprimand from the judicial council of the Eleventh Circuit.
Hellman noted that even if Fuller is acquitted of the misdemeanor charge of family violence, the circuit council can still issue a rebuke, which Hellman said is significant, especially since that is so rare.
Hellman added that those considering Fuller’s case at the Eleventh Circuit likely will be keeping in mind that they don’t necessarily have the final word on Fuller’s fate. Hellman said the Judicial Conference’s national committee on judicial misconduct has taken a more robust oversight role in recent years, following recommendations that led to adoption of new nationally binding rules in 2008.
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