BREAKING: OBAMA CHOOSES SOLICITOR GENERAL ELENA KAGAN AS NOMINEE TO REPLACE JUSTICE STEVENS. News conference Monday at 10 am. NY Times article here.
Apparently there's been a party going on in our courthouses as the 11th Circuit has been celebrating Law Week. And once again, we were not invited.
WHAT'S ABOUT THE WORST THING YOU CAN SEE ON A MONDAY MORNING?
We would hazard to say that if you're a criminal defense attorney in Dade, the above view would turn most stomachs.
It certainly makes us queasy. (For those robed readers, this is the sight you see when walking into the "new" wing of the Broward County Courthouse. That's a statute of Governor Napoleon Bonaparte Broward gracing the hallway to hell.)
We're going to clean up some things from last week.
First: as we said in the comments section, a Judge who espies a person in the courtroom wearing a shirt that may be considered offensive has every right to ask the person to leave the courtroom. If the erstwhile model is a litigant, the Judge should re-set the case.
A Judge does not, under any circumstances, have the right to hold someone in contempt for wearing a shirt that contains a slogan that the Judge finds offensive.
A judge has no right to punish someone who wears a shirt that expresses a slogan. Once you start down that slippery slope, you end up with Judges punishing people who wear shirts espousing particular political philosophies. "Eat Organic"; "Vote For Communism"; "Teachers for McCain"; "Rabbis for Obama"; "Red Heads Are Sexy"; "Van Gogh Sucks" all end up subject to the particular political or esthetic whims of the person on the bench.
We congratulate him on his elevation to Circuit Court. He follows Judges Sarduy and Arzola as recent county court judges who have been elevated. While we wanted to see the seat go to Judge White-Labora, or Judge Gayles, we wish Judge Fernandez the best. It's certainly gratifying to see the seat to go to someone who practiced law as a prosecutor and a defense attorney before becoming a judge.