Statement of Judge G. Thomas Porteous, Jr.

Shortly ago, the United States Senate convicted Judge G. Thomas Porteous of the Eastern District of the Louisiana in his impeachment trial.  Below is his statement:


“Today brought closure to the long controversy over my actions as a federal district judge. I am deeply saddened to be removed from office but I felt it was important not just to me but to the judiciary to take this fight to the Senate. I am deeply grateful to those Senators who voted against the articles. While I still believe these allegations did not rise to the level of impeachable offenses as a constitutional matter, I understand how people of good-faith could disagree.

I am also thankful for the kind words of Senator Hatch in his final statement. Throughout this process, he was always kind and fair to me and my legal team. Finally, I wish to think my legal team of Professor Jonathan Turley and the Bryan Cave attorneys Dan Schwartz, P.J. Meitl, Dan O’Connor, Keith Aurzada, Brian Walsh, Ian Barlow, Sergey Basyuk, and Brad Currier and the other lawyers who fought so hard and so long for my acquittal. The one thing that everyone agreed about was that this was the best argued impeachment case in many decades.

I will now be returning to Louisiana and my family. My family has been a constant and vital source of support throughout this ordeal. I have previously apologized for the mistakes that I committed in this case. I never disputed many of the underlying facts and I previously accepted punishment in the Fifth Circuit. While I disagree with the decision of the Senate, I must now accept that judgment.”

G. Thomas Porteous, Jr.

37 thoughts on “Statement of Judge G. Thomas Porteous, Jr.”

  1. They need to do something about the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

    These judges have made unbelievable decisions!!

  2. As this is all unfolding I am working on a petition for a judicial conduct complaint. The complaint is related to NO PRO SE orders.

    I was researching on the 9th Circuit cite and I found
    http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2009/06/26/08-90113.pdf. It includes a long history written in 1986 by Chief Judge Browning:

    “The early draft of S. 1873 also replaced the “good behavior” standard of prior proposals with the requirement that a complainant allege conduct “inconsistent with the effective and expeditious administration of the business of the courts” or “prejudicial to the administration of justice by bringing the judicial office into disrepute.”

    During the full committee markup the “disrepute” element
    of the dual standard was deleted from the bill. As Senator Thurmond later stated on the Senate floor, “[t]his so-called disrepute standard was dropped because it was felt that this standard could be too intrusive on the judge’s personal life and was subject to possible abuse.” 125 Cong. Rec. 30,050 (1979) (statement of Sen. Thurmond)

    ambiguous and contradictory statements regarding the conduct
    covered. The Report first states that the council may dismiss
    any complaint that is “without jurisdiction” or is
    “insufficient under the standards prescribed by the legislation,” that is, which does not allege “conduct inconsistent with the effective and expeditious administration of the business of the courts,” S. Rep. No. 362 at 2, and that “[c]omplaints relating to the conduct of a member of the judiciary which are not connected with the judicial office or which do not affect the administration of justice are without jurisdiction . . . .” Id. at 3. The report also states that the object
    of S. 1873 “is to remedy matters relating to a judge’s condition or conduct which interferes with his performance and responsibility.

    Other statements in the Report, however, point in a different direction. After stating that the legislation was primarily intended to reach conduct which falls short of that required for impeachment, the Report notes “[t]here have been documented instances and allegations of judicial misconduct . . . that do not rise to the level of constitutional prescription found in Article II, section 4, but which do bring the Federal judiciary into disrepute. Such judicial misbehavior should be
    investigated and, when warranted, remedied.”

  3. C-Span WEB SITE REPORTS:

    Senate convicts Fed Judge Porteous, removing him from Bench
    Today

    The Senate overwhelmingly convicted U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Porteous Jr. today by a vote of 90 – 6 on all four impeachment charges, thus Judge Porteous will be removed from the bench, as well as lose his annual salary and federal pension.

  4. mespo,

    Excellent point.

    SwM,

    Oh yes!

    I also deeply appreciate his views on slavery.

  5. Blouise: I think I like Adams so much because to use Abigail’s words, he was her “dearest friend”.

  6. Blouise:

    ” … even though he never really seemed to understand that the Revolution had replaced his ancient notion of the goal of government being a counterbalancing of classes with a new one based on popular sovereignty.”

    ********************

    Substitute the word “factions” for “classes” and then view our modern Congress who bows on bended knee to a corporate oligarchy, and tell me if Adams was so wrong.

  7. mespo,

    “Adams understood that taking the case would not only subject him to criticism, but might jeopardize his legal practice or even risk the safety of himself and his family. But Adams believed deeply that every person deserved a defense, and he took on the case without hesitation. For his efforts, he would receive the modest sum of eighteen guineas. … The jury acquitted six of the eight soldiers, while two (Montgomery and Killroy) were convicted of manslaughter and branded on their thumbs.

    Initial reaction to Adams role in the case was hostile. His law practice dropped by over half. In the long run, however, the courageous actions of Adams only enhanced his growing reputation.”

    Adams is one of my favorites … even though he never really seemed to understand that the Revolution had replaced his ancient notion of the goal of government being a counterbalancing of classes with a new one based on popular sovereignty.

  8. Blouise:

    Interestingly Adamas almost lost his law practice amid the public outrage involving that case. But he never complained or castigated the citisenry for not understanding his role in it, or the courage it took to accept his role. Great men have a way of doing that, or so it seems.

  9. John Adams, in his old age, called his defense of British soldiers in 1770 “one of the most gallant, generous, manly, and disinterested actions of my whole life, and one of the best pieces of service I ever rendered my country.”

    Were he here today I’m certain he would be nodding his head and thumping his cane on the floor of the Senate as Prof. Turley rose in defense of the Constitution.

  10. It’s never easy to lose even in the cases where most folks say you should lose. A lot of non-lawyers think it’s about the lawyer’s ego, and to some small extent it probably is about that even to good lawyers. (It’s always about ego to bad lawyers). Mostly it’s about watching your client suffer. Even the most disreputable have some saving graces and your job is to focus on and present them. Their “good” becomes out of proportion to you as their counsel, and you see an injustice when cold reality sets in. It’s tough; it’s hard to accept; and the “unfairness” of it all eats at you despite all your training and that fraud they preach to you,so-called “professional distance.” It is, however,in all likelihood, justice, too.

  11. I’d like to see a panel of all sides of the judicial misconduct process convene to make suggestions as to how the system can be controlled better through computers and basically more controls.

    It I were setting up such a panel or committee I would include judges who have been through the process. I’d like to see a forward looking system that protects everyone. I personally have been through a lot of bad judicial process, but I do see a need for judges to have certainty as to the terms of their employment.

    One easy fix would be to require judges to do blow tests before going to work. Would that be such an imposition? Don’t bus driver and pilots have to blow? You know a breathalizer test like they sometimes put on automobiles. I’m sure there are various versions of them.

    If you look at all the recent complaints of judicial misconduct, one common factor was excessive drinking. No one wants that especially when the judges are basically flying solo and really affecting peoples’ lives.

  12. Professor Turley:

    Please relay to your team for me that it is very good to see a real David and Goliath play out in front of my eyes.

    You proved that no matter what the odds if you truley believe in something you fight for that belief.

  13. Professor Jonathan Turley and Co-Counsel for the Honorable Judge Thomas Porteous:

    It has been an honor to watch this constitutional epic played out. I am very proud of the efforts and professionalism displayed by your defense team. The written pleadings and oral presentations presented on your behalf were without equal. I wish all the best to Judge Porteous and his family.

    Your lawyers should be very proud of the work they did and history will record that the constitutional principles that you all fought for so vigorously are always worth the struggle to preserve. It has been my personal honor to watch these proceedings and to watch your defense team perform so admirably under such difficult circumstances.

    Frank.

  14. Professor Turley.

    You and your colleagues deserve the country’s heartfelt thanks
    for your preparation and execution of this enormously difficult process.

    Please do pass on my thoughts and prayers to Judge Porteous for the future.

    Bud

  15. There is no dishonor in a battle well fought.

    You, the members of the Porteous defense team, have comported yourself admirably to the tenets of Bushido:

    Rectitude, Courage, Benevolence, Respect (especially for the Constitution), Loyalty (as with respect), Honesty (again, as with respect and to the facts) and Honor.

    You have earned a deep bow of respect and thunderous applause for your efforts.

  16. You fought hard and skillfully before a hostile and mostly arbitrary tribunal for a despised client. That’s what it’s all about, whatever the outcome.

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