|Virginia Emerson Hopkins|
I realize "whore" is an ugly word, and I don't use it lightly. But I do use it when it fits, at least figuratively -- as it does in this instance. In so many words, Hopkins and her husband (Anniston attorney Christopher Hopkins) bought a judicial seat by giving money to Shelby, Sessions, and Bush. We've seen no sign that Virginia Hopkins is remotely qualified to be a federal judge. But she and hubby funneled cash to Alabama's two crooked U.S. senators -- and our nation's worst president, until Donald Trump came along -- and that was the only "qualification" she needed.
What kind of track record do Shelby and Sessions have when it comes to appointing federal judges in Alabama? Well, they supported the nominations of Mark Fuller (he of wife-beating fame) and Bill Pryor (he of gay-porn and badpuppy.com fame). It's hard to get worse than that, although Hopkins is doing her best to prove that she, like Fuller and Pryor, is a political hack.
As for Bush, he nominated Fuller and Pryor, while allowing Karl Rove to use the U.S. Justice Department as a political weapon. Our nation still has not recovered from -- and might never recover from -- damage done to our justice system on Bush's watch. Barack Obama only made matters worse by vowing to "look forward, not backwards" when it came to Bush-era criminality. No wonder Vladimir Putin decided to meddle in U.S. elections; he saw it was easy to get away with such chicanery. In fact, one could argue Obama's weakness directly led to the ongoing Trump debacle of today.
Any reasonable observer should be able to see that Hopkins is disqualified from hearing the Jail Case, and she has an obligation under the law to step down of her own accord. She, of course, does not have the integrity to follow the law, so we were forced to file a Motion to Disqualify (with accompanying affidavit) under 28 U.S.C. 144. (The Motion to Disqualify and the required affidavit are embedded at the end of this post.)
The following information from our affidavit shines white-hot light on Hopkins' ascendance to the federal bench -- as well as her tendency to act corruptly in the Jail Case, not to mention other cases where Shelby and Sessions might favor one party over another:
Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins has demonstrated bias and prejudice in the instant case that is both “extrajudicial” and “pervasive” in her unlawful rulings.
A report titled "Money Trails to the Federal Bench," from the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), indicates Hopkins wound up on the federal bench because of the cold-hard cash she helped funnel to Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), with some also going to Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), now attorney general in the dysfunctional Trump administration.
The CIR report states the following under the header: Hopkins, Virginia Emerson, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama
Nominated: October 14, 2003 | Confirmed: June 15, 2004
Summary: In May 2003, five months before her nomination, Hopkins and her husband, attorney Christopher Hopkins, each contributed $1,000 to Sen. Shelby, who strongly supported her nomination. On Halloween 2003, two weeks after Hopkins was nominated by the White House, President Bush received $2,000 from Hopkins’ husband. Sen. Sessions, also a backer of her nomination, later received $1,000 from husband Christopher Hopkins several months after her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Sessions is a member. Overall, Hopkins’ husband made nearly $9,000 in federal contributions between 2000-2004, with all but $500 going to Republicans.
Virginia Hopkins, formerly an attorney in private practice, gave President Bush $250 in 2000.
The CIR report even provides a helpful timeline, which makes the Hopkins judicial appointment look an awful lot like the kind of quid pro quo that constitutes bribery under U.S. law. Were federal crimes committed in the name of putting Virginia Emerson Hopkins on the bench? Well, consider the following:
* May 21, 2003: Shelby receives $2,000 total from Hopkins and her husband;
* October 14, 2003: Bush nominates Hopkins;
* October 31, 2003: Bush-Cheney campaign receives $2,000 from Hopkins’ husband;
* November 19, 2003: Confirmation hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee;
* March 2, 2004: Sessions receives $1,000 from Hopkins’ husband;
* June 15, 2004: Hopkins is confirmed by the Senate.
Do you see a pattern here? It's hard to miss. Money flows from the Hopkins camp into the Shelby/Sessions/Bush coffers, and positive steps are taken toward naming Virginia Emerson Hopkins a federal judge, culminating with her confirmation in June 2004.
|Richard Shelby, in Russia|
If someone (Shelby, Sessions, the Alabama State Bar) is influencing Hopkins to cheat us on the Jail Case, that would constitute obstruction of justice, which still could send the responsible parties to prison. And we intend to file a criminal complaint on just that subject.
Here is a wrap-up from our affidavit:
The summary? Christopher Hopkins made $9,000 in federal contributions just before, and after, his wife was nominated to the federal bench. Then, we see a regular money trail leading from Christopher and Virginia Hopkins to Richard Shelby, the Bush-Cheney campaign, and Jeff Sessions. All of these contributions came between May 2003 and March 2004, just before and after Virginia Hopkins was nominated. In essence, Christopher and Virginia Hopkins bought a seat on the federal bench, in a thinly disguised pay-to-play scheme and it had nothing to do with the nominee's judicial qualifications. We learn that Virginia Hopkins owes her judicial seat to her allegiance (and financial contributions) to Richard Shelby, Jeff Sessions, and George W. Bush.
Why does this matter in the instant case? Almost every defendant in this case is tied, directly or indirectly, to Shelby, Sessions, and Bush – or all three. And I, Roger Shuler – on the blog Legal Schnauzer – have written numerous highly critical articles about these three prominent political figures (and their appointees or associates). In other words, I have shined unflattering light on the individuals who have supported, championed, and enhanced Judge Hopkins’ legal career – creating a deep animosity in her that is personal, extrajudicial, and way outside the four corners of the courtroom. Judge Hopkins has exhibited a consistent bias and prejudice toward Carol and me because we have unmasked the individuals (and their associates) who have been her personal boosters.