That needed to be said. I was disturbed that our settlement and order pursuant to that was torpedoed by the Legislature after just a few days. And the lobbyists’ role in the matter didn’t please me either. But [Chief Judge Federico A. Moreno] has the case now, and he’s a fine judge. He’ll do well with it. But I probably spoke out too much.
Yes. The environment and the Everglades are one of my favorite causes. I take environmental positions when they are correct and don’t when they are not.
The First Amendment. I’ve had several important First Amendment cases. I feel extremely strongly about the right to speak out. The First Amendment is an extremely important area. I’m a Constitution lover. I’m distressed at what is happening now to the Fourth Amendment [right to due process]. It is being chipped away … the right to privacy. But I better not say anything more about that, some cases might come before me.
No. I’m comfortable with all my rulings.
In the ’70s, we handled a lot of drug cases. Also, our bench has grown much larger. We had six or seven judges then, now we have 16 or 18. We’re getting more civil cases now because we have more judges.
Not much. They have excellent career prosecutors at the U.S. attorney’s office and lots of new young lawyers who are good. Both prosecution and defense are pretty high quality here.
Roy Black, Albert Krieger, Pat Sullivan, Dick Gregorie, Neal Sonnett.
I read a lot that there are. But I don’t think there are. They don’t please everybody. [He reads a passage from his well-worn copy of the book “The Imitation of Christ,” a 15th century Christian spiritual book.] “And he that neither coveteth to please men nor feareth to displease them, shall enjoy much peace. From inordinate love and vain fear ariseth all disquietness of heart and distraction of the thoughts.” All judges should follow that.
Once. I received a phone call at my house threatening me from someone when I was hearing the Omega 7 case in 1984. [The case involved an anti-Fidel Castro group accused of bombing the Venezuelan and Mexican consulates]. For two weeks, we had marshals around the clock. I don’t know how they got my home phone number because it’s not listed.
My wife was moved by it.
The rock mining case. But I can’t get into it because it’s on appeal.
Former Chief Judge Clyde Atkins. 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Peter Fay. My contemporary judges are all my heroes, and some of the newer ones. Dwight Eisenhower. Jimmy Carter. He wasn’t that well-thought of but I thought he was a good and honest man. The writer Thomas Merton.
I didn’t like him. He played around too much.
I pray every day. I pray before I rule.
My hobby is my wife, Christine. We married three years ago. She was my physical therapist.
I’m proud of being a federal judge and doing what I think is right. Maybe I was wrong sometimes, but I have no regrets.
I’ll continue to work until they carry me out.