Judging the Judge

Committee Doubting Thompson. Plus, The Bish, Rush, and more.
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  October 28, 2009


After reading Sunday’s front page BeloJo story, “Support for R.I. Judge not unanimous,” your superior correspondents have to suspect that everything — absolutely everything — is thoroughly politicized. Apparently, a few people on the 15-member American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary think that Superior Court Justice O. Rogeriee Thompson is a bit deficient in their standards for integrity, competence, and judicial temperament.

We can only imagine that these few startlingly clueless individuals are people who have never met Judge Thompson nor seen her in action. You might say that P&J are biased in this matter and you’d be right. We have known Rogeriee for more than a quarter-century. We have also known hundreds of individuals who have had occasion to interact with her over the years, many in her capacity as a jurist. Let’s just say that the three things virtually everyone who knows her would agree on are her integrity, competence, and judicial temperament.

Needless to say, P&J would love to know how rodeo clowns weaseled their way onto the ABA’s committee. We suspect that their objections are not unlike those of the handful of base-ball writers who never voted for black ballplayers for the Hall of Fame. You know, guys like Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Bob Gibson. First round slam dunks who, mysteriously, never garnered 100 percent of the eligible votes.

We’re not saying that it’s race or gender that is the issue for those who don’t support Judge Thompson, but we do believe that it must be something similarly off-the-wall or just bad information from malicious individuals who have some unimaginable animus toward Rogeriee.

We expect that this stupid stuff will all pass, Rogeriee will breeze through confirmation, and will subsequently be sworn in to the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. We note that in Katie Mulvaney’s story on Judge Thompson she mentions that the highly respected (but controversial) Judge Richard Posner of Chicago and the 7th District Court of Appeals also received a split rating. That would lead us to believe that political philosophy is not unheard of on these ABA committees. If Rogeriee Thompson is considered “not qualified” to sit on the First Circuit Court, we wonder what planet will have to be visited to find someone who is.

You don’t have to be “Angry” Bob Watson to realize that State Representative and Labor Committee Chairman Arthur Corvese’s decision to not have Capitol TV (as blatant a partisan arm of the state RI Democratic Party as any entity on earth) record and telecast the legislative hearing on the issue of binding arbitration for teachers and school committees was an insult to the democratic form of government. Since when does the fear that “cameras might engender a circus-like atmosphere” (Corvese’s purported reason for not televising the hearing) supersede pub-lic access to their government? Corvese is not a simian, like some of his General Assembly cohorts, so he must not believe in the people’s right to know.

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