Tuesday, April 09, 2024

Should Adeel Abdullah Mangi be confirmed to the Third Circuit?

 The NYT has an opinion piece about the issue and starts with a story about our own Judge Raag Singhal:

In 1999, a Florida lawyer, Anuraag Singhal, represented a man convicted of gunning down a police officer. Singhal had to somehow persuade a jury that his client, Jeffrey Lee Weaver, should face life in prison rather than the electric chair, the punishment the hard-charging prosecutor sought.

“I hope you can find some love in your heart for Jeff Weaver, and I hope you’ll let him die in prison,” Singhal said, according to a report in The Sun Sentinel, the local newspaper. The article described tears rolling down his cheeks and his voice breaking with emotion as he pleaded for Weaver’s life. Singhal won the day. A divided jury recommended life in prison.

Singhal was clearly a very talented attorney and a man on the rise. He would become active in conservative legal circles, joining the local chapter of the Federalist Society. In 2019, President Donald Trump appointed him to a federal judgeship in Florida. He was confirmed that December with a bipartisan Senate vote of 76 to 17. Evidently no one raised a peep about his defense of a man who killed a police officer, nor his pivotal role in reducing the man’s sentence despite Republican posturing about protecting law enforcement.

Among the Democratic senators who voted to give Singhal this lifetime appointment were three centrists who often burnish their bipartisan bona fides and tough-on-crime credentials: Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen, both of Nevada, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

So it is striking that these same three senators have come out to announce that they will not support an eminently qualified nominee of their own party’s president after Republican senators and conservative activists smeared him, first accusing him of being an antisemite and, when that effort fizzled in the face of staunch support from mainstream Jewish organizations, of being soft on crime and supporting cop killers.

This is an odd comparison.  Unfortunately and unjustly, Judge Singhal did face a lot of opposition when he first tried to become a judge.  His name went up over 15 times to the Governor for state circuit judge before he was finally appointed.  Then he distinguished himself as a judge, so the (ridiculous) issue of who he represented as a criminal defense lawyer became a non-issue (but only sort-of because Senator Nelson refused to return his blue-slip in 2018).  Second, and this is not meant to be a criticism of Mangi, but Judge Singhal ensured the Sixth Amendment rights of his client, a criminal defendant.  The criticism of Mangi seems wrong as well, but it's different than any potential critique of Judge Singhal for giving a strong closing argument for his client.


Anonymous said...

The comparison isn't just odd, it's ridiculous. Opposition to Mangi has nothing to do with any of his clients. It's not a smear to point out that he's expressly aligned himself with anti-Semites and defund-the-police clowns for years, and the fact that left-wing anti-Zionist Jewish organizations are OK with that doesn't make him fit for the bench.

Anonymous said...

Of course it is the same - the guy represented people that others don't like. He advised people who others don't like. It is a matter of the GOP (in this case - dems do it too) deciding that they are going to tank a nomination because of his past advocacy. No person could survive these types of attacks or examinations.

Former AUSA - associated with people who hid Brady and wrongly incarcerated defendants.

Former Defense Lawyer - represented criminals and let them loose on society.

Jesus - associated with prostitutes and other outcasts.

God - former associate/right hand man a very bad angel.

All the arguments are just a minor tweak of the other.

Anonymous said...

Singhal was ensuring a criminal defendant had full measure of his Sixth Amendment rights. Mangi joined an organization and then “forgot” to list it on his application.

And Singhal weathered the storm over many years while the unions and then Senator Nelson blocked him. Never saw the guy complain about it that whole time.

Anonymous said...

@11:35. Very well put.

Anonymous said...

Someone who did not "advocate" on behalf of CAIR, Islamic Jihad, and Defund the Police could survive the attacks.

Anonymous said...

These two situations are not even close to comparable. In representing a client, an attorney does not endorse the client's views or actions. Sitting on an organization's board or advisory council is not the same. It is not unreasonable to conclude that an attorney who voluntarily joins an organization and serves it in a leadership capacity is endorsing the mission, position, and actions of the organization.

Anonymous said...

These two nominations are different in many more respects than those already discussed. While the author said nice things about Singhal, she missed a whole lot. For starters, Singhal was nominated to a trial court and Mangi is looking at an appellate court. To that point, “Mangi wrote in his letter to Booker that he has never defended someone accused of killing a police officer.” So Mangi gets this all backwards. THAT would NOT have made him unqualified. THAT is what the Constitution and its Amendments requires. But joining an advocacy organization (and then failing to disclose it) is quite different, particularly for an appellate judge.

Interestingly, Booker plans to vote for Mangi but voted NO on Singhal. This was after he claimed he wanted minority criminal defense attorneys appointed. Talk about pandering.

The author did close with some kind words for Judge Singhal for those who are paywalled. But her ultimate conclusion is way off base.

“Which brings us back to Anuraag Singhal. He spent much of his career as a criminal defense lawyer, representing people accused of a wide range of violent and nonviolent crimes. His work defending a man who killed a police officer was honorable and ethical. He was fulfilling his crucial role in our justice system. I wish every death penalty defendant had such skilled counsel.

From the available evidence, he appears to have a sterling legal record and has so far proved to be a fair-minded judge on the federal bench. Democrats were right to vote for his confirmation, exactly as the Constitution envisioned the Senate’s role to advise and consent to a president’s judicial nominees. On this very same principle, they should dismiss these baseless smears and vote to confirm Adeel Mangi without delay.”

Anonymous said...

You know what is ridiculous? Complaining about Nelson's use of the blue slip in light of Rubio and Scott's actions in the judicial appointment process when Dems are in the White House.

Anonymous said...

First, I don’t see anyone complaining about Nelson. That’s the whole point. Second, Scott hasn’t refused to return blue slips with Biden, so you have the wrong Senator.

Anonymous said...

Scott has not refused to return a blue slip but he told Biden he would only support certain names and Biden went with it. Blue slip light.

And there certainly were complaints about Nelson.