Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Morning Interviews

The morning interviews got off to a fast start. Judge Rosenbaum's opening remarks were extremely well thought out and prepared. She clearly captured the committee during her initial presentation.

Some of the committee member's questions were in depth, and others were not very deep. In all, during the course of the 20 minutes or so of questioning, there were good exchanges and you certainly got a feel for the interviewee.

One of the more interesting questions that has come up with a number of the interviewees has been asked by Justin Sayfie -- essentially, the question is whether the interviewee has seen a situation where the law dictates a result that the candidate deems to be unjust and morally wrong. Most of the canidates I saw (I missed Caroline Heck Miller and Judith Korchin's interveiws) stressed the importance of stare decisis and adhearance to the rule of law. Personally, I think there may have been a bit of a missed oportunity to recall the building that they are being interviewed in, and a quote attributed to that great judge who has been cited has having said that "in the Moral Universe, One Is A Majority If Your're Right." Judge Bagley had the most interesting response to it when he noted that he has come upon that situation in his career as a jurist and he tried to frame the issue for the appeallate court -- he was reversed.

Here are some highlights from the interviews I saw:

Judge Rosenbaum:

Judge Roesnbaum stressed the role of a prosecutor is not to obtain convictions, but rather "to do the right thing." I appreciated that, having come from the State Attorney's Office.

Judge Seltzer:

Judge Seltzer was asked by the committee members how the Chief Magistrate Judge is picked (he is next up and Judge Brown is the current Chief). The Judge told the committee that it is by seniority and that he and Judge Brown were sworn in on the same day, but at their judicial swearing in, he said 'Steve, you go first,' and here we are. Judge Seltzer also affirmed his respect for the role of voir dire and said that he beleives the sides should get thirty mintues in selecting a jury.

Judge Bagley:

Unfortunately I missed Judge Bagley's opening remarks, but sitting in the room, you cannot miss that which is obvious to anybody who has appeared in his courtroom -- a calmness and demanor that commands the attention of all present. He was in absolute control of the entire interveiw and it was impressive to watch. When asked what his weakness was, the Judge directly addressed his lack of federal experiance and assured the committee that that fact would not effect his ability to be a federal judge. Nobody present would have doubted him. Judge Bagley also tipped the committee off to what motivated him to enter the law:

The Judge was a student in New York and recieved a summons to appear through the mail for a marijuana charge -- the summons was issued in his legal name, but he was not the right guy...somebody had apparently used his name. When he appeared in court, he was intimidated and frightened. He explained to the presiding judge that he was not right defendant. Luckily for Judge Bagley the police officer who had issued the summons was there and affirmed that he was not the proper defendant. This experiance, more than any other showed Judge Bagley the fairness in the law and led to the launch of his legal career.

Judge White:

By the time Judge White appeared, the committee room was rather full of spectators and I could not hear him very well. I did catch his emphasis on judicial temperment and patience as qualities that he believes are extemely important. Judge White also made a statement that I loved - he said that because of the power that a prosecutor holds, a good prosecutor is the best public defender. Absolutely true.

Well, back to the interveiws, I will post more later.


Anonymous said...

Is a court reporter present? Will a transcript be made available at some point?

Fake Serpico said...

Should have let me do it.

Anonymous said...

It's like Defending Your Life:

Anonymous said...

Dore Louis is tall.