I was supposed to be on vacation this past week, supposed to be lolling through the bluegrass in beautiful Kentucky watching sleek harness horses trot holes into the wind. And perhaps if I were--tapping out my pieces from the weather-worn press box at the Red Mile racetrack in between the races--the week's discouraging array of legal stories might have been a little easier to take. Would you like another Ale-8-One with your Woodford, Mr. Cohen?
Day after day, drip after drip, came bad tidings. That creaking sound you thought you heard Monday? It was the sound of a thousand honorable judges all over the country rolling over in their graves at the news that the Texas judicial system has officially whitewashed from the record the disgraceful conduct of Judge Sharon Keller. She's the jurist who inexcusably blew off a last-minute appeal from a condemned man--an appeal that would have stayed his execution but did not--because she had to meet her repairman at home. How Texas--and the state bar association--can countenance such conduct unbecoming a judge beggars belief.
At least there is one member of Congress courageous enough to speak out against such "lawless" behavior by a judge. Oh, wait. I must have had too many Woodfords. I was initially encouraged when Rep. Steve King (R-Ia.) came out Tuesday with the following statement: "Lawless judges should be removed from the bench.... Judges should not be rewarded for flagrant disregard of the Rule of Law and the American people should respond by pursuing avenues which would result in the removal of lawless judges from the state and federal bench."