Bench Memos

Grilling Chatigny

Last week, Senate Republicans grilled judge Robert Chatigny, a nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, over allegations he acted improperly in trying to stop the execution of Michael Ross, a notorious serial killer.  Ross, aka “The Roadside Strangler,” was convicted of murdering four women, and confessed to raping and murdering even more.  After Ross was convicted, Chatigny intervened aggressively to prevent the execution — so aggressively, in fact, that several prosecutors filed an ethics complaint against him. The complaint was later dismissed.  As I noted here, these concerns initially caused the Senate Judicary Committee to postpone Chatigny’s hearing. At the rescheduled hearing this past Wednesday, BLT reports, Judge Chatigny’s conduct was the focus of intense questioning.  “I don’t think this is a matter that’s going to lightly go away,” said Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL). “I think it evidenced the lack of a proper understanding of your role in the matter.”

Jonathan H. Adler — Jonathan H. Adler teaches courses in environmental, administrative, and constitutional law at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

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