05/19/2005: Judicious Protections
I listened to C-Span coverage of Judge Joan Lefkow speaking before Congress (in a very even, measured yet somber tone - considering the sad set of circumstances and overwhelming loss she has had to endure) to denounce the imprudent and inflammatory rhetoric from members of our government and others which indirectly advocates or justifies violence against judges and ask Congress to provide protection and safeguards to thwart such violence.
AOL has provided this piece Bereaved Judge Says Angry Rhetoric Is Dangerous by Rebecca Carroll (Associated Press):
”A federal judge whose husband and mother were slain by a disgruntled litigant urged Congress on Wednesday to help bring an end to ''truly dangerous'' verbal attacks on judges that might lead to violent action.
Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow said one way lawmakers could protect judges would be to condemn judge-bashing remarks by commentators and colleagues.
''Fostering disrespect for judges can only encourage those that are on the edge, or on the fringe, to exact revenge,'' Lefkow told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
''I understand that Congress cannot eradicate violence against judges, nor are we exempt from this madness in the shadows,'' she said, borrowing the final phrase from a note from former President Clinton, who appointed her in 2000 to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
''But as I replay in my mind the events that led to our tragedy,'' she went on, ''I believe that several things might have prevented it and could prevent it from happening to even one more of our judges.''
In addition to asking lawmakers to ''publicly and persistently repudiate gratuitous attacks on the judiciary,'' Lefkow called on Congress to increase funding for the U.S. Marshals Service, which protects judges. She also wants legislation to ban putting personal information about judges and other government officials on the Internet without their permission….”
Karen on 05.19.05 @ 03:49 AM CST