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Calvin Freiburger

It’s 10PM, and Obama Has Appointed Another Radical Judge. Do You Know Where YOUR Conservative Leader Is?

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Posted on June 23 2010 6:00 pm
Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College. He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

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In other news, President Barack Obama has nominated Judge Robert Chatigny to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.  Chatigny is a prudent, centrist jurist with a heartfelt respect for the scope of judicial power and a simple desire to impartially uphold law and order…

Had you going for a minute there, didn’t I?  Actually, he’s another left-wing, soft-on-crime judicial activist:

Fox News reports that Chatigny delayed the execution of Michael Ross, the Roadside Strangler, for, um, interesting reasons, despite Ross’s desire not to challenge his own fate:

The judge, on a conference call, raised concerns about whether Ross was mentally fit and whether prison isolation had led him to despair. At the time of the call, federal appeals courts had overturned two prior orders from Chatigny postponing the execution.

According to a transcript of that Jan. 28 call, the judge threatened to go after the law license of Ross’ attorney, T.R. Paulding. The judge also repeatedly stuck up for Ross, saying he suffered from “this affliction, this terrible disease” and suggesting Ross “may be the least culpable, the least, of the people on death row.” [Emphasis added.]

Ross was convicted of killing four women and had confessed to killing eight, raping most of them. He was sentenced to death in 1987 and had been on death row for nearly two decades when Chatigny engaged in the last-minute battle with others on the case.

The execution, though temporarily delayed, was ultimately carried out.

In Human Events, Wendy Wright reports that Chatigny “repeatedly gave light sentences for sexual crimes such as possession of child pornography…overturned Connecticut’s law requiring registration of sex offenders (a decision later overturned unanimously by the Supreme Court),” and advocates for “empathy” in judicial decision making.  She also reveals that his ties to the Ross case go even deeper:

The prosecutors who filed the complaint discovered Chatigny had filed an appearance on behalf of the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and a leave to file an amicus brief challenging Ross’ original sentence. He failed to disclose this obvious conflict of interest—even when asked by the state’s attorney. He told the Senate Judiciary Committee that this, the only death penalty case that he had worked on in 25 years, involving a horrific serial murderer of women and girls, had “slipped his mind.”

All the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted against Chatigny, as well they should have—substituting subjective personal inclinations for objective legal judgment defeats the purpose of the judiciary and throws the separation of powers out of whack, which is all the more deadly when those inclinations err on the side of our society’s worst monsters.  Fox also quotes Senators Tom Coburn and John Kyl as strongly criticizing Chatigny, which is all well and good, too.

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