Luttig’s Reasons for Resigning

by Jonathan H. Adler

After he resigned from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to become General Counsel of Boeing, some speculated that Michael Luttig was motivated, in part, by the administration’s handling of the <i>Padilla</i> decision.  The <i>WSJ</i> ran a long piece discussing Judge Lutting’s opinions in the case — the first highly supportive of the administration’s position, the second quite critical of what appeared like a Justice Department effort to keep some of Padilla’s claims out of court — and suggested Judge Luttig’s frustration with the administration’s handling of the case influenced his decision.  Interviewed by the <i>Legal Times </i:>, Luttig dismissed such speculation, saying “The Padilla case had nothing whatsoever to do with my decision to leave the court — nothing at all.”  He also called Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to make this clear.  Said Luttig, “This is a decision about my life and my family, not about a case.”

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