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  1. #1
    Senior Member Dixie's Avatar
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    Lawyer Seeks Investigation Of State Judge

    Lawyer Seeks Investigation Of State Judge
    Former Appellate Court Nominee's Remarks About Illegal Immigration Prompt Complaint

    By CHRISTOPHER KEATING | Capitol Bureau Chief
    August 28, 2007

    The controversy over the governor's former nominee to the state Appellate Court continued Monday when a Branford lawyer filed a formal complaint against Judge John R. Downey.

    Lawyer Bruce P. Matzkin asked the state's Judicial Review Council to investigate Downey "for violations of the canons of the Code of Judicial Conduct that raise a substantial question as to his fitness for office."

    Matzkin made his complaint based on highly publicized statements Downey made last week to the legislature's judiciary committee and transcripts of statements that he made on the bench regarding illegal immigration.

    Downey's statements caused a firestorm of protest, and he withdrew his nomination to the 10-member Appellate Court.

    He continues to serve as a Superior Court judge, but some insiders are questioning whether he will be renominated by Gov. M. Jodi Rell for another eight-year term when his current term expires in about 18 months.

    The transcripts show that Downey, in two civil hearings in 2002, questioned whether illegal immigrants have a right to file cases in American courts.

    Matzkin said that Downey violated the code of conduct "by purporting to condition access to the civil courts on litigants' legal immigration status" and "by failing to disqualify himself in cases involving parties he believed, or suspected, were not U.S. citizens, which parties he has demonstrated personal bias against."

    Matzkin, a 41-year-old Democrat who has worked as a lawyer in Connecticut for 10 years, said he has never appeared in front of Downey and has no ties to the Republican judge.

    "I'm doing what I think is the right thing," Matzkin said. "If nobody is going to do it, I'll do it. I'm not saying he should be removed forcibly or involuntarily. I'm just saying they should investigate. Our legal profession here has a code of silence. ... It seems to me the governor should have more to say about this."

    Rell's spokesman, Christopher Cooper, said the Judicial Review Council is the proper forum for any complaint against Downey.

    "That's part of our process," Cooper said Monday. "The attorney certainly has a right to take the complaint to the council."

    A spokeswoman for the council declined to comment, saying that all complaints filed with the council are confidential under state law. Formal complaints against judges are relatively rare, and the council held public hearings against only three judges during the past fiscal year.

    Downey could not be reached for comment Monday.

    In withdrawing his nomination, Downey apologized for his statements about immigrants, but said he looked forward to continuing his work as a Superior Court judge.

    "I would also like to apologize for any misunderstanding that may have arisen during [the committee's] public hearing about the ability of illegal immigrants to access our civil court system," Downey wrote in a letter to the two co-chairmen of the judicial committee.

    "My views on this issue have evolved," he wrote. "I would like to state unequivocally that it is my position that all people have the right to access our courts to seek redress for legal injury."

    Downey's nomination had become controversial initially because of comments he had made regarding former U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond, a well-known segregationist before he changed his views later in life.

    From the bench, Downey had praised Thurmond on the day after he died in June 2003. Downey spoke about Thurmond because the senator had helped him in the mid-1970s when he was a law student at the University of South Carolina.

    According to the transcript, Downey said, "Now, he went through quite a transformation. He was a man who seemed to be, by many, to be a bigot and a racist because of his position on race relations in the United States. But one thing that I observed about Sen. Thurmond was that he was able to see life and reality and to grow with life and reality. In fact, he became one of the most responsible and helpful people in terms of race relations in South Carolina, appointing federal judges who were black and doing much for the black community."


    Contact Christopher Keating at ckeating@courant.com

    http://www.courant.com/news/local/hc-ct ... 9909.story
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  2. #2
    Senior Member azwreath's Avatar
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    Interesting.....but, where are the calls for investigations into judges who are so pro-illegal that they cannot be relied upon to act in a non biased capacity?
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  3. #3
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    good point

    AZWreath

    Good point, the entire judicial system caters to illegals. That is what we got for having an anchor baby Attorney General.

  4. #4
    Senior Member avenger's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like we have a lawyer that needs his ethics investigated!
    Never give up! Never surrender! Never compromise your values!*
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  5. #5
    MW
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    Senior Member MW's Avatar
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    If you're not a pro-illegal bleeding heart liberal - they're coming for you! All conservative judges who believe in, and stand for, the rule of law should beware.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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