Friday, March 10, 2006

Federal Bar Luncheon

The Hon. Adalberto Jordan spoke at the Federal Bar Association’s luncheon yesterday. Judge Jordan explained that attorneys must inform the public of the importance of the judicial “process” and to avoid the tendency to focus solely on the end result of a judicial decision. Judge Jordan emphasized that the public needs to become more aware that a judge’s ruling is based on rules, procedures, precedent, statutory interpretation and legislative history. He specifically pointed out how media pundits talk about impeaching judges because of “lenient” decisions in criminal cases or argue about how a newly appointed Supreme Court justice may rule on a particular issue, thereby politicizing the judicial process, and that this endangers the public’s perception of the judiciary. He offered as an example the recent decision by Judge Moreno involving the fifteen Cuban refugees who arrived at the old Seven Mile Bridge. The media focused on the end result and whether Cuba would allow these refugees to return to the United States rather than on the “process” of how Judge Moreno reached his decision. Judge Jordan requested that all of us inform our loved ones, neighbors, and colleagues that judicial decisions involve more than just final decisions but a process that protects the integrity of our legal system.

5 comments:

NotEmmettChoate said...

I'm not sure I understood the FBA speech. Was Judge Jordan saying we should have concentrated on how Moreno's decision was simply pandering to the media and the heavily anti-Castro community opinion? Or how most important decisions by judges are influenced by public opinion? After all, neither Moreno's decision, nor most others down here, fall into the category of brilliant legal analysis.

Marc David Seitles said...

I cannot agree.

Did you read Judge Moreno's order? He actually spends a great deal of time analyzing why the Coast Guard's decision was "unreasonable." In fact he went so far as to show that the then INS' Legal Counsel's 1993 opinion "Immigration Consequences of Undocumented Aliens Arrival in United States Territorial Waters" supports that the Seven Mile Bridge was land as contemplated by the Immigration and Naturalization Act. His analysis amounted to more than just pandering to the anti-Castro community.

To be honest, this rhetoric is exactly what Judge Jordan was talking about.

Anonymous said...

Nice to know you have an opinion, Mark. So so others, even if they disagree with you. The 1993 Legal Counsel opinion has nothing to do with anything since it pre-dates the existence of the wet-foot-dry-foot policy. Face it, the case is legally moot and at best an advisory opinion since the court has no ability to enforce any order it enters. At best it's good publicity, at worst it violates the most basic principles of mootness. In another context, Moreno's refrain would have been, "If I enter unenforceable orders in this case I have to do it in every case?" and he would have moved on to the next case. As it is, his order is fodder for blogs and nothing more.

Marc David Seitles said...

i love others with opinions, thats what blogging is all about! So I look forward to more debates in the future. By the way, its Marc with a C, unlike Markus with a K.

notemmettchoate said...

Moreno vacated the order under the threat of a government appeal -- then he entered an order that the government requested. So much for judges not caving in under pressure. It's not rhetoric when it's true and plain to see.