Monday, September 21, 2015

By focusing on Mark Fuller's private misconduct, are judicial elites covering for his actions on the bench?

Are judicial elites trying to cover for Mark Fuller's
corrupt actions from the bench?
Judicial investigators announced last week that disgraced federal judge Mark Fuller engaged in "reprehensible conduct," which included physically abusing his wife at least eight times, and lied under oath to the committee investigating his behavior.

The Judicial Conference of the United States stated in a letter to Congress that the severity of Fuller's actions, plus its finding of perjury, might merit impeachment proceedings--even though he resigned from the bench in August.

Legal experts have said that the conference's findings against Fuller, best known for overseeing the trial of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman, represent a tough stance against judges who bring disrepute to the judiciary. But is that really the case? Is the judicial hierarchy, by focusing on Fuller's private behavior while largely ignoring his dubious actions on the bench, actually conducting a cover-up and trying to protect its own reputation.

The answers to the those two questions, in our view, are no and yes.

Should the public be concerned that Fuller, appointed to the bench in the Middle District of Alabama by President George W. Bush, repeatedly beat Kelli Gregg Fuller before and after they got married--and then lied under oath about his actions? Of course. Should the public be concerned that documents from Fuller's first marriage suggest he abused his wife and children then, drove while intoxicated, engaged in extramarital affairs, and abused alcohol and prescription drugs? Absolutely.

But what about Fuller's conduct in his "official capacity," while wearing a robe? We are among a relatively small number of journalists who have shown that Fuller repeatedly made unlawful rulings in the Siegelman case, forcing former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy to prison for a sentence he already has served--while Siegelman remains incarcerated at Oakdale, Louisiana, for a "crime" that does not exist under federal law.

How corrupt were Fuller's actions in the Siegelman case? Here is the simplest explanation: Evidence at trial showed that the alleged unlawful transaction between Siegelman and Scrushy took place almost six years before federal prosecutors issued an indictment. That means the alleged wrongdoing--and evidence at trial showed there was no wrongdoing at all--took place well outside the five-year statute of limitations.

That means the case should not have gone to trial--and by law, it could not go to a jury either. Fuller, however, took a number of improper steps to ensure that a stale case, which should have been dead on arrival, moved forward toward a jury that issued guilty verdicts not supported by fact or law.

Here's the key to what's really going on with the "investigation" of Mark Fuller: The U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Fuller's unlawful trial rulings on multiple occasions. That's why the judicial hierarchy wants the public to focus on Fuller's home life. If citizens were to focus on Fuller's abominable actions from the bench, the inquiry could not stop with him; it also would have to focus on the appellate court in Atlanta, which covers Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.

Goodness knows, the Judicial Conference does not want that to happen.

That's why various legal experts were quoted in The New York Times, praising the "tough-guy stance" toward Mark Fuller. Here is one example:

“They didn’t pull any punches,” said Arthur Hellman, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh who specializes in judicial ethics. “They didn’t try to whitewash it in any way, and I think that’s part of the message they’re trying to convey: If a federal judge does something bad, the judiciary will take steps to force him off the bench.”

Here is another example:

“They want to use this as a teaching moment for the federal judiciary,” said Charles G. Geyh, a law professor at Indiana University who testified during impeachment proceedings against a different federal judge.

Both Hellman and Geyh are full of horse feces. In fact, to borrow a phrase from Hellman, a "whitewash" is exactly what's going on.

Judicial elites don't mind sacrificing Mark Fuller for engaging in domestic abuse. But they don't want you to know that he was crooked on the bench--and they sure don't want you to know that appellate judges supported Fuller's corrupt actions all along the way.


Anonymous said...

Impeachment needs to move forward. Fuller had the power to send innocent people to prison, so his actions need full review.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the judges are throwing Marky Mark Fuller under the bus.

Anonymous said...

Wow! It sounds like they are definitely going after the domestic abuse element as a red herring. However, if he is successfully removed the bench, etc. it'll still send a message to other Judges to think twice about breaking the law as judges like he did during the Siegelman trial.

Anonymous said...

What about the coverup of docs on Leura Canary recusal? That involves the DOJ. Let's have a full investigation. We all know Mark Fuller is a wife beater, a boozer, a cheater, and an addict. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. It goes way beyond him.

Kathleen said...

So did this Fuller character have to go through the same processes that anyone else accused of domestic violence must go through? Charged with a misdemeanor at the very least and ordered to 52 weeks of batterer courses? Fined? Community service? Stay away Protection orders?

Anonymous said...

"That means the case should not have gone to trial--but by law, it could not go to a jury."

LS: My inner editor says that the above should read as follows:

"That means the case should not have gone to trial--AND, by law, it could not go to a jury EITHER."

Anonymous said...

Also meant to say that IMHO, your writing is getting better and better. Ultimately, it's all about power and the money thought to be necessary to obtain and wield power.

Outraged said...

Yup. Roger gets it right again. We, the public, led by the nose by our scandalmongering media, are excited by personal corruption and, when it gets too bad, punish someone for it. Justifiably, but of course, others with similar sins get passes, for reasons of timing or whatever. Systemic corruption is different. You can't offer up one scapegoat. Society has to be brave. South African needed a Truth and Reconcilation commission. But meanwhile, Don Siegelman needs a pardon -and a "pardon us, Don" - from someone in the position of authority (Mr. President) to say it and grant it.

e.a.f. said...

If they want to get rid of a judge it is always best to get rid of them on the basis of their personal lives. if it has anything to do with their professional work, then all their cases maybe subject to appeals and reviews. That is an awful lot of work, so just get rid of them on anything but their ability to do their jobs.

legalschnauzer said...

You and your inner editor are correct, @1:58. That is much more clear, and I will make that change. Thanks for your assistance. The blog is a one-man show, and I could use editorial assistance such as yours.

Anonymous said...

Murf: 2 questions please, if you have been provided any discussions on either or both; [01] his domestic violence history has had any ties to illegal drugs, and [02] WHEN did he, and HOW did he, become such a major player in Doss Aviation located in Ozark?