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Judge's recital of pledge leads to recusal (AJC)

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ovidsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-06-06 10:44 AM
Original message
Judge's recital of pledge leads to recusal (AJC)

Judge's recital of pledge leads to recusal

Defense attorney filed official complaint

As he does each time he begins court proceedings, (Gwinnett County Judge Mark A.) Lewis turns to the flag behind his bench and recites the pledge. He invites those in the courtroom to stand and join in but does not require it. (SNIP)

But in a letter dated March 17, Atlanta-based attorney Donald A. Weissman, who is representing the defendant, told Lewis he objected to beginning court with "a public declaration of national loyalty."

He asked Lewis to stop the practice or recuse himself from the case.


http://www.ajc.com/news/content/metro/gwinnett/stories/...
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-06-06 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
1. Thats got to be akward.
Everyone with a stake in things going along with it to suck up and everyone else just sitting there as he does the pledge.
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ovidsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-06-06 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Like prayer in class
Before the requirement that the public school day begin with the Lord's Prayer ended, I always felt badly for the Jewish kids students in my class.

I was glad when the Supreme Court said (in 1962, I think) that the prayers were unconstitutional.

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CottonBear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-06-06 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
2. Gwinnett County is uber red. Gwinnett County is the home of Ralph Reed
and the runaway bride. Gwinnett County (there are some Democrats who live there) is governend mostly by Republicans. The traffic is a nightmare and the urban sprawl is overwhelkming. It used to be the nation's fastest growing county. (It's located jsut outside the Atlanta perimeter highway.) There are plenty of fundies there. My only Republican friends live there. So, it doesn't surprise me that the judge is a super patriotic kind of guy.
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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-06-06 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. that's not being patriotic - that's showboating and stuffing it down

people's throats.
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CottonBear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-06-06 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I agree completely. I do not condone the judges actions. n/t
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-06-06 12:16 PM
Response to Original message
5. I"ve got more boats than you.
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ovidsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-06-06 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. You only need one! n/t
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kay1864 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-06-06 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
8. From the article..
In an order dated March 30, Lewis said reciting the pledge is not "mandatory, requested or required" for people in the courtroom, and ruled that Weissman's request had no basis.

The next day, during a hearing in open court with television cameras rolling, Weissman handed Lewis a copy of an official complaint he filed with the state Judicial Qualifications Commission.

Once the complaint was filed in court, Lewis was "ethically required" to remove himself from the case, Gwinnett Chief Magistrate Warren Davis said.

"It's always just good form to recuse," Lewis said Wednesday.

:wtf: Is that all it takes to take a judge off a case? Filing a complaint? I mean, yeah, a lawyer could get in trouble if he/she files too many, but it seems weird that it means automatic recusal.

Any DU lawyers that can comment on this practice?
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jberryhill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-11-06 08:12 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. If I represented a client where...
Edited on Tue Apr-11-06 08:12 PM by jberryhill

...the circumstances of the case led me to believe that my client would be prejudiced by the pledge recital, then the request would be fine.

But doing it just for its own sake doesn't make a lot of sense to me, as it would be a disservice to the client.

An attorney is not in a courtroom to serve his/her own personal agenda. An attorney is to represent the client zealously within the law, to preserve the confidences of the client, and also as an officer of the court to uphold the law and the orderly and decorous administration of the law.

Such "circumstances" mentioned above might be... I dunno... a situation in which my client's perceived allegiance or lack thereof to the various things in the pledge were somehow at issue.

The story doesn't indicate the judge required anyone to participate, and I can't see how an attorney should have a problem reciting it. I think the pledge is hokey, and surely the "under God" part isn't to be expected of everyone, but it is balanced by the recital of "liberty".

All attorneys are sworn to uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States, and the constitution and laws of the state(s) in which they are admitted (inclusive of good faith argument as to why a law itself is unjust), but there is no such duty of natural citizens who are not under such an oath. Naturalized citizens, however, are under an oath of citizenship.

The specific procedure here appears to be part of the Georgia judicial code, about which I know zilch.

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Evergreen Emerald Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-11-06 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. generally...
there are two ways to take a judge off of a case
1. a person can file an "affidavit of prejudice" against one judge per case (if the judge has made no substantive rulings). There does not need to be a showing of prejudice.

2. A person can file a motion alleging "actual prejudice" and remove a judge from the case. There does need to be a sufficient showing of actual prejudice.
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