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Judicial Conference Requests Impeachment for District Judge Porteous (La.)



The National Law Journal (via Law.com) reports that the judicial conference of the USA (the policy-making body of the judiciary) has asked the U.S. House of Representatives to consider impeaching U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Porteous on the grounds that he "solicited and received" cash from lawyers in a pending case.

The allegations of accepting a bribe go beyond previous revelations about the judge in a 5th Circuit Court of Appeals inquiry in 2007; at that time he was accused of perjury and false financial disclosures to conceal cash in a bankruptcy case. The letter to speaker Pelosi cited those allegations of repeated perjury and also violation of criminal law and ethical canons while presiding over In re: Liljeberg enters, Inc. v. Lifemark Hospitals, Inc. That case, a bench trial where Porteous rejected a recusal motion and declined to inform the opposing side that one side's lawyers "had often provided him with cash," was partially reversed by the 5th Circuit.

Porteous was appointed by President Clinton in 1994. He was a former Louisiana state judge for the 10 years preceding his appointment. In a 2002 case he ruled that the state of Louisiana was illegally using federal money to promote religion in its abstinence-only sex education programs (thereby hampering a policy of the Bush administration) because many of the groups participating in the Governor's Program on Abstinence were "furthering religious objectives." In 1999 he had struck down a Louisiana law aimed at banning partial birth abortion.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy
rmangual@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

 

Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.