J.A.I.L. News Journal
Los Angeles, California                                             April 29, 2005

Fear of Fervent Judge Bashing


Piersol: Attacks on judges to get airing

By David Kranz

Published: 04/26/05 2:47 pm

Seldom do federal judges respond to criticism about their decisions, but recent heated attacks against them may change that.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Piersol of Sioux Falls, president of the Federal Judges Association, says the group will discuss what response, if any, it should make when board members meet next month in Washington, D.C.

"We are not concerned about being criticized. That is not new. Suggestions of retaliation for judicial opinion is new," said Piersol, a soft-spoken and highly respected judge.

After hearing a range of opinions from judges about what they call "fervent judge bashing," Piersol communicated with the membership about placing the issue on the agenda.

"We will discuss what we should or shouldn't do. We may decide to take action or no action," he said.

"It is a free country, and everyone has free-speech rights to criticize judges," he said. "Traditionally, the courts have not responded to those things, and we may not after this. But as of late, some of these comments have been over the edge, and that is what has caused concern," he said. ....

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