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Bench Memos

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This Day in Liberal Judicial Activism—May 10



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2006—Mississippi attorney Michael B. Wallace, nominated to the Fifth Circuit by President Bush, is victimized by the ABA. In a scandalous process marked by bias, a glaring conflict of interest, incompetence (see here and here), a stacked committeeviolation of its own procedures, cheap gamesmanship, and ultimately, flat-out perjury, the ABA committee rates Wallace “not qualified.”  After Democrats regain control of the Senate in 2007, Wallace’s nomination is not resubmitted.

2011—In what Chief Judge Alex Kozinski’s dissent labels an “Article III putsch,” Ninth Circuit outlaw Stephen Reinhardt issues a 77-page majority opinion (in Veterans for Common Sense v. Shinseki) that would place the Department of Veterans Affairs’ mental-health-treatment and disability-compensation programs under the direct supervision of a federal district judge. One year later, an en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit will reverse Reinhardt by a 10-1 vote, with even all five Clinton appointees on the panel voting against Reinhardt.



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