Always speculated, never admitted. Until Now
Associated Press: Judges conspire for the sake of politics

It's always been speculated that Democratic judges hold on to their seats until they die, or a Democratic President is assured, so they can pass the seat on to another Democratic Judge. Of course, this has caused a severe disconnect between what the people want, and judges who like to legislate from the bench.

Today, according to the Associated Press, a South Dakota judge seems to be admitting that it's the sole reason he's hanging on:

U.S. District Judge Charles Kornmann, 69, put off his retirement after two fellow Democratic judges agreed to share his workload - a move that could allow someone from their party to get Kornmann's job if a Democrat is elected president in 2008.

Kornmann and one of the other judges acknowledged the arrangement in interviews with The Associated Press. Joseph Haas, the federal clerk of court for South Dakota, also confirmed some of the Kornmann's caseload was reallocated last fall.

and...

"The other judges don't want me to retire," Kornmann said. "I don't plan to do anything for a time. I could have taken senior status in September but in view of them helping out that much, I decided not to do it."

When asked why they helped, Kornmann joked: "They think I'm such a wonderful judge. It has nothing to do with who the president is."

He added: "It might have something to do with it."

and...

Schreier declined to comment on whether she wants to keep Kornmann's seat from slipping into Republican hands.

Piersol said, "I would just say we're helping Judge Kornmann out. What he does is up to him."

Read all of this earth shattering artcle here at the Aberdeen Amercian News.

Wow. I have to give big props to the AP. I don't know that I've ever observed the South Dakota press put federal judges on the hotseat for their political leanings. There is LOTS more of this story in the article - go read it on-line NOW, or be prepared to pick up your newspaper in the AM.

Comments

scimitar said…
I hope you're not suggesting that it's only Democratic judges who are concerned about who the President is that will appoint their replacements. Supreme Court Justice Rehnquist was in poor health during the Clinton years, but couldn't bring himself to retire.

And for those of you who don't remember this far back, Republicans have played politics with Judge Kornmann. He was nominated to be a judge by President Carter, and the Republicans held it up until Carter's term was up then Reagan appointed someone else. Kornmann didn't get another shot until the Clinton years.

The bottom line is that Judge Kornmann gets to decide for himself when to retire, just like every other federal judge.
Anonymous said…
This is news to you pp? Grow up.
Anonymous said…
This is the sort of thing that gives traction, with the public, to proposals like J.A.I.L.
PP said…
It's not news that it's done, it's news that anyone is admitting it.
Anonymous said…
There's Kornmann, showing his good judgment as always.
nonnie said…
That's sorta like the Dem's holding on to Johnson's seat until the next election even though it leaves SD without representation for two years, cuz they know that Rounds woud probably appoint a Rep. The same thing Mundt and the Reps did long ago. Politics, politics, ad nauseum politics.
Anonymous said…
Oh come on PP! You can't seriously think this is some sort of bombshell... please...
Anonymous said…
PP, what your comment says to me is that republicans would do the same thing just not admit it. You guys talk about whiny liberals, somebody give PP a bottle and his blanky.
Anonymous said…
Everyone knows that this goes on. What is surprising (I think) is that Chuck Kornmann is so overt about it. Usually they try to hide it.

BTW - I would disagree that Rehnquist decided not to retire during the Clinton years because of politics. He also refused to retire once Bush had become president. Indeed, he never retired at all - he died more than four years into Bush's presidency.

Not to say that judges and justices don't do this. I've read that Sandra Day O'Connor told friends (privately) that she hoped Bush would be reelected in 2004 so that she could retire. And I strongly suspect that Justices Stevens and Ginsburg are waiting on the 2008 election to announce their plans.
Anonymous said…
I disagree with the poster who said that this sort of thing gives JAIL-type proposals traction. JAIL ended up having about as much traction as a Slip-and-Slide.
Anonymous said…
When Republicans aren't firing U.S. Attorneys or outing CIA agents who won't do their political dirty work, then it's time to speculate about federal judges who are not registered Republicans with extreme right winged views.

You people need a life.
Anonymous said…
Judge Kornmann is a great judge and an even better person. To attack him is really low, especially when the only attack is that he was appointed by a democrat. What "legislating from the bench" has he done?

Leave him alone. He, like all other federal judges, gets to make the decision when and if to retire.
Anonymous said…
Politics, politics, ad nauseum politics.

No, it is "partisanship, partisanship",.. but every now and then that is the best for the country. It is certainly better in this case than another wingnut loon in the judiciary at a time when we have a president who thinks he is a king with unlimited unitary powers.

Note, I thought Kornman was out to lunch when he decided on the basis of handicap laws that the SD corporate farming restriction was unconstitutional. That was one tortured silly decision.

Doug Wiken...Blogger is again being fickle and not accepting my blogger google identity.
Anonymous said…
Ya,that Kornmann has a real problem, honesty.
Anonymous said…
Unbelievbale how big these liberal Democratic HACKS called "judges" are --- time for impeachment!
Anonymous said…
This was truly a great read, PP. It does show the partisanship of these liberal, democrat judges. I am very appreciative of your bringing it to light. This explains the decision of Daschle to pursue Piersol's court room during the waning hours of his defeat. It also explains the partisan decision by Schrier to redistrict vast areas of south dakota in order to gain more democrat seats in and around indian country. Nothing more than pure partisan bullshit at the hands of liberal judges. This is why judges should be elected!
Anonymous said…
If these democrats had to run for election, they could always call the Republican National Committeeman Ron Schmidt for advice. He does more for liberal, democrat judges than for any republicans he has a duty to help!

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