Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Clintonista judge resigns over "Bush spied" non-story

From the Washington comPost:
A federal judge has resigned from the court that oversees government surveillance in intelligence cases in protest of President Bush's secret authorization of a domestic spying program, according to two sources.

U.S. District Judge James Robertson, one of 11 members of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, sent a letter to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. late Monday notifying him of his resignation without providing an explanation.

James Robertson sent his resignation to the chief justice.Two associates familiar with his decision said yesterday that Robertson privately expressed deep concern that the warrantless surveillance program authorized by the president in 2001 was legally questionable and may have tainted the FISA court's work.
Buried in the comPost story is the obligatory disclaimer about what critics say:
Robertson is considered a liberal judge who has often ruled against the Bush administration's assertions of broad powers in the terrorism fight, most notably in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld . Robertson held in that case that the Pentagon's military commissions for prosecuting terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were illegal and stacked against the detainees.
PowerLine has great info on the Hamdan ruling by Robertson: "A district court judge appointed by President Clinton bent over backwards to find that trial by a military tribunal isn't good enough for Osama bin Laden's driver and his fellow al Qaeda members who were captured fighting against us in Afghanistan". His decision in the Hamdan case was reversed by the unanimous vote of a panel of the D.C. Circuit which included current Chief Justice John Roberts.

Lost amongst the implied adulation heaped on the judge by the comPost is a little background info on the judge. From NewsMax:
The press is breathlessly reporting that U.S. District Judge James Robertson has resigned from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court - "apparently" in a fit of conscience over news that President Bush was using the National Security Agency to monitor the telephone conversations of terrorists.

If the reports are correct, Judge Robertson's conscience has evolved considerably since the days when he was dismissing one criminal case after another against cronies of Bill Clinton - the man who appointed him to the bench in 1994.

Old Arkansas media hand Paul Greenberg has long had Robertson's number. In a 1999 column for Jewish World Review, Greenberg described the honorable judge as "one of the more prejudiced Clintonoids on the bench."

As Accuracy in Media noted in 2000, Judge Roberston's conscience wasn't particularly troubled by the crimes committed by one-time Clinton Deputy Attorney General Webb Hubbell.

In two cases involving Hubbell, AIM reported, "Judge James Robertson threw out a tax charge and another for lying to federal investigators. Appellate courts overruled in both cases, and Hubbell then plead guilty to felonies in each case."
Judge Robertson's conscience also seemed to go AWOL when it came to the case of Archie Schaffer, an executive with Tyson Chicken - the company that had showered Mr. Clinton with campaign contributions and helped steer Mrs. Clinton to her commodities market killing.

Critics said Judge Robertson was merely returning the favor on behalf of the man who appointed him, when - as CNN reported in 1998, he "threw out the jury conviction of Tyson Foods executive Archie Schaffer for providing gifts to former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy."

Robertson had "granted a motion by Schaffer to overturn the verdict which found him guilty of giving Espy tickets to President Bill Clinton's first inaugural dinner and gifts at a birthday party for the firm's chief executive, Don Tyson."

In the context of his past performance on the bench, Judge Robertson's media fans will surely understand why some of us aren't buying their claims that he stormed off the FISA court in a fit of outrage over perceived law breaking.
The Gateway Pundit has even more information on how this Clintonista is a judicial activist for leftist causes.

Funny how Clintonistas get intermittent and unpredictable fits of conscience, and even funnier how said fits coincide with agendas!

As for the comPost: liberal media bias!