President Renominates Radicals and Oddballs for Judgeships

President Obama has just renominated four controversial men to judgeships, even though they previously failed to get confirmed by the Senate because of public opposition.  Those nominees are Robert Chatigny, Goodwin Liu, Louis Butler, and Jack O’Connell.

Obama renominated Robert Chatigny, who unsuccessfully tried to block the execution of a serial murderer and rapist known as the Roadside Strangler based on the ridiculous argument that the murderer’s “sexual sadism” was supposedly a mitigating factor.  Doesn’t sadism make a crime worse?  Even the strangler admitted his death sentence was appropriate.  Chatigny presided over that case as a trial judge even though he had briefly represented the Roadside Strangler, creating an obvious conflict of interest.  A judge can’t be impartial in someone’s case when he earlier represented that person in a case involving the same crime!  Yet Obama wants to promote Chatigny to an appeals court.

The President also renominated radical law professor Goodwin Liu, who wrongly thinks that some forms of welfare are constitutionally mandated, which is at odds with the Supreme Court’s state-action doctrine.  Liu has no experience trying cases at all, even though judges are supposed to have “substantial courtroom and trial experience.”  Liu claims that “’free enterprise, private ownership of property, and limited government” are right-wing concepts and ideological “code words.”  (It’s hard to square this claim by Liu with the fact that you find lip-service to such concepts even in President Obama’s books and speeches, which praise private property rights — suggesting that the President, unlike Goodwin Liu, recognizes that these concepts are widely approved of by mainstream Americans.)

He also renominated Louis Butler, who was so extreme that he was removed from the Wisconsin Supreme Court by voters.  His empathy for criminals was summed up by his nickname, Loophole Louis.

Also renominated was John J. “Jack” O’Connell, who got himself hired, in an unethical fashion, to bring a futile paint lawsuit that “achieved nothing, other than waste thousands of hours of attorney time.”  (He made contributions to politicians like Rhode Island attorney general Patrick Lynch; the lawsuit was a failure, although it resulted in lots of work on both sides for trial lawyers).