|Are judicial elites trying to cover for Mark Fuller's|
corrupt actions from the bench?
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.